PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his support for Japan’s position against North Korea and cautioned President Kim Jong-un not to threaten the world with his missiles.
Duterte made the assurance when he met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit in Pasay City on Monday night.
In his remarks during the meeting, Duterte assured Abe that the Philippines supported Japan’s position as it was a “matter of interest” for the two countries.
“I can assure you that in the matter of the interest of your country and mine, we are supporting you against what North Korea is doing,” Duterte told Abe.
“We have said it several times already in the past that it is not to the interest of North Korea to swagger around and threaten the world, of keeping us hostage with the atomic weapons,” he added.
According to Duterte, Kim should realize that he would be responsible in case the nuclear activities in his country would cause the world’s destruction.
“We condemn his several launching of missiles. It is bad. It puts a strain on everybody, not only on Japan but all over the world,” the President said.
“And he should realize that he’d be responsible for ending life in this planet if his mind goes out of control,” he added.
Duterte said the Asean was trying to persuade Kim to stop his aggressiveness as this may bring the world to the point of no return.
“That is why we are persuading him, maybe pleading him to stop the aggressive posture because we are not… The Philippines is about too far but, you know, nobody will save us from a holocaust if it happens,” he said.
“We condemn the continued posturing of North Korea with the nuclear weapons,” the President added.
Abe, meanwhile, stressed that the nuclear and missile issues in the Korean peninsula were “grave and imminent” threats.
“We need to make North Korea change their policy by enhancing the pressure applied to North Korea to the highest level by all available means, including the full implementation of the Security Council’s resolutions,” Abe said in his remarks.
North Korea has continued to beef up its nuclear program despite economic sanctions by the United Nations and widespread condemnation by the international community.
The rogue state previously threatened to launch ballistic missiles toward Guam, where a US military base is located, prompting American President Donald Trump to declare that he would meet any threat to his country with “fire and fury.”
Japan and South Korea, East Asian countries that also host US military installations, are also bracing for possible missile attacks.
Last April, the Asean member states said they were concerned over the issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula as they seriously threaten peace, security and stability in the region and the world.