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Rodrigo Duterte

Philippines’ Duterte says North Korea’s Kim ‘wants to end the world’, urges US restraint

At the Asean summit in Manila, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said leaders there were “extremely worried” about the threat of conflict

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 April, 2017, 10:11pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 April, 2017, 10:11pm

There’s been widespread alarm at the latest North Korean mid-range missile test, despite it being the fourth consecutive apparent failure, as regional tensions rise due to a growing US navy presence.

At the Asean summit in Manila, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said leaders there were “extremely worried” about the threat of conflict.

Duterte urged Washington to show restraint, but at the same time warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un “wants to end the world”. He said he was due to speak to US President Donald Trump.

North Korea seeks Southeast Asian support over ‘grave situation’ with US

“I will just communicate to [Trump] ... do not play into his hands,” he said. “He is always smiling. But he really wants to finish everything.” Duterte said he would urge Trump not to go to war.

“There will be hunger, agony, and everybody suffers, and only because two nations are playing with their dangerous toys,” he told reporters in Manila.

Earlier Trump said the North “disrespected the wishes of China” and called the test “Bad!” He has sent what he called an aircraft carrier “armada” to the Korean peninsula for drills with the South and Japan.

Pyongyang slammed the US navy deployment as “a reckless action of the war maniacs aimed at an extremely dangerous nuclear war”.

There will be hunger, agony, and everybody suffers, and only because two nations are playing with their dangerous toys
Rodrigo Duterte

A Rodong Sinmun newspaper commentary warned that the US mainland is being targeted by its “strategic rockets tipped with powerful nuclear warheads”. It warned that the US would “collapse” in such an event, South Korea would be “submerged in a sea of fire” and Japan “reduced to ashes”.

‘Major, major’ conflict with North Korea possible, but diplomacy first, Trump says

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday that talks with North Korea over its nuclear programme cannot be resumed if it continues to carry out provocative acts like missile tests.

“North Korea repeats provocative acts and displays no sincere will or specific action toward denuclearisation [so] we cannot immediately restart the six-party talks at this time,” Abe said in London .

Analysts say the missile launched, a KN-17, is a new Scud-type missile developed by North Korea. The North fired the same type of missile on April 16, a day after a massive military parade. South Korea said yesterday’s missile flew for several minutes and reached a maximum height of 71km before failing.

Additional reporting by Kyodo, Reuters