PH 'strongly condemns' North Korea rocket launch
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines "strongly condemns" the surprise rocket launch by North Korea on Wednesday, December 12.
"The Philippines strongly condemns the launch undertaken by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on 12 December 2012," a statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
"The DPRK is in clear violation of UN Security Council Resolutions 1695 (2006), 1874 (2009) and 1718 (2006), which explicitly demanded DPRK not to use or conduct any launch using ballistic missile technology and the suspension of its ballistic missile programme," the statement read.
The country is "firmly" urging North Korea to "desist from acts of provocation and to end its use or testing of ballistic missile technology."
"The Philippines joins other governments in urging the DPRK to undertake steps towards confidence-building and engagement with the international community in order to ensure peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the entire Asia Pacific region," the statement added.
Warnings for fishermen
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is warning fishermen not to recover debris from the North Korean rocket that fell in waters off northern Luzon.
This came after the NDRRMC acknowledged the rocket launch, which is seen by Pyongyang's critics as a disguised ballistic missile test.
There was no advisory directly coming from North Korea, NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said, but the red alert status was immediately raised over the affected areas upon learning about the news from reports.
Information was also gathered from the defense attache of the Philippine Embassy in Seoul, South Korea, he added.
The booster stage of the rocket fell into the ocean, but the agency said they still do not know if it fell intact or if it disintegrated since the Philippines has no capability to track the rocket.
No incidents stemming from the launch have been reported so far. The alert has been lowered, the agency added.
North Korea successfully launched a long-range rocket on Wednesday, in defiance of UN sanctions threats.
North Korea said the three-stage rocket, which Pyongyang insists was solely aimed at placing a satellite in orbit, had achieved all its objectives.
Officials in South Korea and Japan confirmed that all three stages of the rocket appeared to have separated as scheduled.
However, South Korean defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok cautioned that further analysis was required. - Rappler.com / WIth the Agence France-Presse