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PH watching with concern increasing tension between US, NoKor

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By Francis Wakefield

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday said that it is watching with concern developments pertaining to the increasing tension between the United States and North Korea.

This after North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un warned that it was considering a missile strike on the U.S. territory of Guam.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana gestures during a press conference held at the Malacañang on February 7, 2017. (Richard V. Viñas / MANILA BULLETIN)

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana
(Richard V. Viñas / MANILA BULLETIN)

U.S. President Donald Trump retaliated by saying that Kim Jong Un’s regime will face a devastating military strike if it continues threatening the United States.

Lorenzana said the Philippine government will see how things will develop and hope that things will cool down soon between the two countries.

“Let’s see how things develop because they (North Korea and US leaders) have heated verbal exchanges. So I hope things cool down in the near future. Because in case North Korea launches missiles and targets Guam, the U.S. might retaliate. They (referring to US) are not going to sit down there and wait for the missiles to hit Guam. That’s what I think,” Lorenzana said in an interview at the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

“We are watching with concern kasi hindi naman masyado accurate rockets nila eh. Baka mamaya magkamali ng bagsak. Sabi nga ni presidente eh pag bumagsak sa Luneta yan patay tayo diyan,” he added.

When asked if the United States can invoke the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the Philippines to support them, Lorenzana said he has to study that.

“Hindi ko alam iyan. I will have to study that kasi MDT natin is yung attack pag sa atin eh,” he said.

“The Korean War was different because the resolution is to prevent the North Koreans from occupying South Korea. Now this is different because rockets na lang ang pinapalipad eh. Wala naman tayong panlaban diyan sa rockets nila eh.”

“Kasi kung wala namang invasion na tropa kung rockets to rockets lang sila naglalaban ano naman ilalaban natin sa rockets to rockets?” Lorenzana said.

Lorenzana, however, believes that despite the escalation of tension between North Korea and United States who is a close ally of PH, we are not a threat to the North Koreans.

“We are not threat sa kanila eh. Saka wala namang presence ng US na malaki dito na threatening sa kanila eh. Hopefully mag tone down na din ito,” Lorenzana said.

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