MANILA -- The Philippine Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has aired "serious concerns" of the government over the recent missile launches conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), or North Korea, on the safety of navigation.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said Ambassador Gilberto Asuque had expressed the Philippine government's concerns at the 29th Extraordinary Session of the IMO Council on Nov. 24.

The Philippines co-sponsored a Council decision to condemn the ballistic missile tests by the DPRK, which were conducted without prior navigational warnings.

Quoting Ambassador Asuque, the DFA said missiles fly over the edge of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone on the eastern part of the country.

Without warnings, these activities pose clear and serious dangers to the safety of Filipino fishermen and ships, particularly from the falling stages of the missile, it said.

As per the DFA, the Council decision would be referred to the IMO Assembly for further consideration and endorsement. The next convention, which is the 30th IMO Assembly, is in London from Nov. 27 to Dec. 6, 2017.

As a specialized agency of the United Nations, the IMO’s mission is to promote the highest standards of safety, security, and environmental performance in shipping. (PNA)