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Military on N Korea rocket alert

Plans are in place if debris from missile causes damage, it says

  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • April 5, 2012
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The army has tried to reassure the public that the military is ready for any eventuality if North Korea goes ahead with its planned “satellite launch” next week.

Lieutenant-General Anthony Alcantara, the army’s commander in northern Luzon, called on residents to stay calm, saying he has placed various disaster response officials on standby if a life-threatening situation occurs.

"Come up with a contingency plan for a worst case scenario and always keep the public informed," Alcantara told field commanders.

He said if residents should find any rocket debris they should immediately report it to the authorities.

North Korea says it plans to send a "weather satellite" into orbit on a long-range missile to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of its former leader, Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994.

Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster advisory council, said debris from the rocket is projected to hit Philippine waters.

President Benigno Aquino yesterday urged leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to work together to persuade North Korea to abandon its planned launch.

He said the move violates United Nations Security Council resolutions and presents risks to other countries, including the Philippines.

“It increases tension, particularly in the period of uncertainty leading up to the launch, where no one is sure of the trajectory of the missile," Aquino said.

"This is a needless provocation not only on the Korean peninsula, but in the entire region,” Aquino said upon his return to Manila from the Asean summit in Cambodia.
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