By Michaela del Callar
The Philippine government on Monday joined the international community in urging North Korea to abandon its second attempt to launch a rocket carrying a satellite between Dec. 12 and 22 and to abide by United Nations resolutions forbidding it from testing ballistic missile technology.
"We strongly urge North Korea not to proceed with its planned launch and abide by the UN Security Council Resolutions which call for the abandonment of its ballistic missile program in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner," Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez told a press briefing.
Manila has said it would continue to work with international partners to ensure peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula.
The Philippines has been singled out along with Indonesia as among Southeast Asian countries where possible debris from the rocket may fall.
Defying a U.N. moratorium, North Korea, also known by its official name Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), proceeded with its first rocket launch on April, which was a failure.
In the face of worldwide criticisms and fears, the communist nation had defended its rocket launch, saying it was intended for peaceful purposes.
But the United States suspects it's a cover to test a nuclear missile that can reach its nearby military bases in Asia-Pacific, and its allies like South Korea and Japan, two countries in close proximity to the isolated communist nation.