Prepare for worst-case scenario, government urged
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine government should prepare for the worst-case scenario if the row between North Korea and South Korea escalates into a full-blown nuclear war, a political analyst said Saturday.
University of the Philippines political science professor Clarita Carlos said the Philippines could be affected if the tension in the Korean Peninsula turns for the worse.
She noted that the Philippines has an existing Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States, which is also being threatened by North Korea.
The United States is an ally of South Korea.
"Posibleng madamay ang ating bansa. Amerika kasi nakakawing dito eh," Carlitos told radio dzMM Saturday.
"Tingnan mo naman 'yung geography natin, eh medyo malapit tayo diyan. Bagamat ang hidwaan ay sa pagitan ng Amerika at between North Korea and South Korea, tayo rin ay pwedeng makawing diyan because matatandaan niyo nung Korean war, tayo ay napasama diyan dahil sa ating defense treaty sa Amerika," she continued.
She also urged the parties involved not to bellitle Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal and take seriously North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's threats to attack South Korea and the United States.
"Mag-assume tayo ng worst na nuclear-capable na siya. Kasi pag nag-assume ka ng worst, kung less than that ang mangyayari ay at least preparado ka. Kesa assume-in mo na 'Ah wag mong anuhin iyan. Sira ulo niyan.' You don't do that kind of remarks. Parang 'di yata 'yun katanggap-tanggap and it does not help," Carlitos said.
Protect Filipinos in South Korea
Carlitos said Philippine authorities should continue monitoring the situation in the Korean peninsula, particularly in South Korea where about 42,000 Filipinos work.
She said the government should remain vigilant and ensure contingecy plans for the safety of the Filipinos working there.
Aside from being bound to help the US in case it is attacked by North Korea, Carlitos noted that the Philippines should also help South Korea since it is a partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
She said, "Magbigay tayo ng kahit anong tulong...sa panahon ng kanilang pangangailangan. Pero huwag nating kalimutan ang North Korea. Isolating North Korea, not talking to them is not the way to go."