20 October, Friday


Philippines prepares for N Korea's Guam missile threat

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The Philippine consulate in Agana responded to North Korea's threat to fire missiles near the US territory of Guam with an emergency contingency plan to help the thousands of Filipinos there respond to an attack.
 
Consul General in Guam, Marciano de Borja told ABS-CBN News Channel on Friday they have come up with measures for situations that may arise should North Korea strike the island.
 
"Basically, we established a quick communication network which is the first thing that we have to put in place so that we will be able to warn them (Filipinos) about the impending threat," he said.
 
"...part of this announcement from the government authorities here. Now if there is really that imminent threat and the intelligence really shows that's going to happen then, of course, we will recommend that evacuation," he added.
 
Aside from this contingency plan, de Borja said his consulate office is working closely with the Philippine community in Guam, and he does not want to issue any statement that was not synchronized with Guam.
 
On Thursday, Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the Philippine government and its embassies and consulates were ready to help Filipinos in case of emergencies. “It’s pretty automatic that if there are any threats, especially for those who are in affected areas, they have contingency plans for those things,” said Abella, according to Inquirer online.
 
An estimated 42,835 Filipinos, live in Guam, a Pacific island with a population of a little more than 162,000, which is home to a U.S. military base and sits approximately 2,500 km away from the Philippines.
 
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said that contingency plans have been prepared to ensure the safety of overseas Filipino workers should North Korea launch a missile strike on Guam island.
 
“These contingency plans will enable the Consulate General to respond to emergencies in their area of jurisdiction, including coordination with the host country and the Filipino community,” he said in a statement.
 
The DFA noted that the Philippine consulate in Agana, Guam is updating its plans and has started coordinating with the government there.
 
North Korea threatened to shoot four missiles into the sea off Guam after heated exchanges with the United States over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
 
Its state-run news agency reported that North Korea's army "will complete its plan to hit Guam before mid-August.

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