Trump criticised North Korea for ‘disrespecting the wishes of China’ after test-firing ballistic missile.
Leader of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has called on the US to keep a cool head and not be rushed into action after North Korea’s latest missile test. Duterte warned against North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, who “wants to end the world”.
US President Donald Trump has said that a “major conflict” is possible with North Korea.
“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely,” Trump told Reuters
“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult,” the president added.
Duterte, who is chairman of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) said the region was very concerned over tensions between the US and North Korea resulting in a “catastrophe”, while Asia could be the first victim of a nuclear war.
The Philippines president is expected to speak with Trump by telephone on Saturday (29 April). Duterte has said he would caution the US president to avoid a heated confrontation with Kim.
“There seem to be two countries playing with their toys and those toys are not really to entertain,” he told a news conference after the ASEAN summit in Manila, referring to Washington and Pyongyang. “You know that they are playing with somebody who relishes letting go of missiles and everything. I would not want to go into his (Kim’s) mind because I really do not know what’s inside but he’s putting mother earth, the planet to an edge.”
The Philippines president, known for his ruthless purge of drug dealers, suggested that the US treat the North Korean leader calmly.
“I would say ‘Mr. President, please see to it that there is no war because my region will suffer immensely’,” Duterte said. “I will just communicate to (Trump), ‘just let him play… do not play into his hands’.”
He added: “[Kim] simply wants to end the world, that is why he is very happy. He is always smiling. But he really wants to finish everything and he wants to drag us all down.”
In a war of words, Trump criticised North Korea for “disrespecting the wishes of China” after Pyongyang test-fired a ballistic missile, which was unsuccessful. South Korea’s military said the location of the missile fire was near Bukchang in South Pyeongan Province.
Japanese prime minister, Shinzō Abe, said the military action posed a grave threat to Japan.
“Despite strong warnings by the international community, North Korea today went through its ballistic missile launch. It is a grave threat to our country. This is absolutely not acceptable. We strongly condemn such acts,” Abe said at a press conference in London on Saturday (29 April).