THE Philippines and Japan on Monday condemned the ballistic missile tests launched by North Korea.
In a joint statement, both countries urged North Korea to agree for a dialogue with concerned parties to ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula.
President Rodrigo Duterte, who is currently in Tokyo for an official visit, said North Korea's missile tests pose threats to regional stability and security.
"We need to address many issues confronting the region and threats to the stability and security [in the] Asia-Pacific. Foremost among our shared concern are developments on the Korean Peninsula and the continuing missile launch tests of North Korea," Duterte said in a joint statement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"We condemn these tests and call on all concerned stakeholders to return to the negotiating table to peacefully resolve the situation," he added.
In an interview in Davao City on Sunday, Duterte said it was "totally unacceptable to everybody" for North Korea Kim Jung-On to issue a directive to launch missiles amid its standoff with the United States over Korean peninsula.
In September, North Korea launched a missile test over Hokkaido Island before falling into the Pacific Ocean.
It was North Korea’s second test-flight over Japan, a close ally of the United States that has been targeted after supporting the United Nation’s sanctions against Pyongyang over its nuclear test last September 3.
Duterte believed only China, an ally of North Korea, can convince Kim to be open to dialogue.
“Nobody's talking to him. I don’t know about China. But the one single country really that can calm him down [is] China. And the country [that is also being] threatened, together with Japan, of a nuclear war would be China, Japan, and South Korea, and the rest of the world,” he said.
“It would be good [for] America, Japan, Korea, and Mr. Kim Jong-Un to talk and to convince him to sit down on a round table and just tell him that nobody’s threatening him, that there will be no war, and that if he can just tone down or stand down, stop the threats, and that would be the same for America,” Duterte added. (SunStar Philippines)