MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine military said on Friday, August 11, that there is only a “remote” chance that debris from a North Korean missile strike near Guam would reach the Philippines.
AFP Spokesman Brigadier General Restituto Padilla said in a news briefing that the most that can happen is that some coastal areas of the country could be hit by debris, but even this is a “remote” possibility.”
“We don’t see this as potentially hitting us in any way because it is directed towards an outer island in the Pacific itself. So whatever fallout it may have, maybe because of debris, if it disintegrates up there,” he said during a Palace news briefing.
“[Debris] could hit some northern coastal areas. We have to forewarn our citizens to be on the lookout. But that’s something that we see as remote,” Padilla added.
Pyongyang announced on Wednesday, August 9, that is it “carefully examining” a plan to launch intermediate range ballistic missiles near US military installations in Guam, heightening tensions caused by North Korea’s successful missile tests.
The threat came hours after US President Donald Trump threatened Pyongyang with “fire and fury” over its missile program and days after the UN Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea over its growing nuclear arsenal.
Padilla is confident that there is still room for diplomacy to prevent a North Korean missile strike.
The fact that North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-Ho attended Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings in Manila this week show the country is still open to dialogue, he said.
“I think there is still a lot of room for dialogue, a lot of room for talks. And we see this as a positive sign. So, we may just be in the middle of a verbal tussle between some countries,” said Padilla. – Rappler.com