NORTH Korea’s testing of a hydrogen bomb has reduced available options for a meaningful dialogue to reduce tensions and address the issues hounding the Korean Peninsula, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said on Sunday.
Cayetano said Pyongyang’s actions undermine the regional peace and stability.
“We are gravely concerned over this hydrogen bomb testing by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Such provocative actions undermine regional peace and stability,” Cayetano, who is in Seoul for an official visit, said.
The foreign affairs secretary met with Assistant Secretary for Asia-Pacific Affairs Millicent Cruz-Paredes and Ambassador to Seoul Raul Hernandez to discuss the situation in the Korean Peninsula.
He instructed the officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy in Seoul to ensure that the 65,000 Filipinos living and working in South Korea are made aware of the contingency plans that have been prepared in case the situation worsens.
Cayetano met 300 members of the Filipino Community in Seoul and assured them that measures are in place in case there would be a need to evacuate them.
Top diplomats of the member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) issued a statement urging North Korea to comply with its obligations under the United Nations security council resolutions.
“Aside from flouting all of its commitments under relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, this test limits our available options for meaningful dialogue to address the real issues confronting the Korean Peninsula,” Cayetano said.
“The Philippines urges the DPRK to return to the negotiating table. Asean is ready to play a role in creating diplomatic space to effect meaningful dialogue,” he added.