Tuesday, March 27, 2012

AFP coordinates with nearby countries on NoKor’s planned missile launch

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Monday they are closely coordinating with neighboring countries and international organizations to gather information about North Korea’s planned missile launch.

“We are continuously networking and liaising, [in the] sharing of information with concerned international bodies as to the [flight] path [of the rocket] and other essential information that we can obtain pertaining to the planned rocket launch of North Korea,” Colonel Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos Jr, AFP spokesperson said in a press briefing.

He said the AFP’s defense attache to South Korea was already consulting and coordinating with counterparts from South Korea, the United States (US) and other countries.

North Korea had said that the rocket will be launched to put a satellite into orbit. The rocket will have two stages that will jettison from the main rocket, the first is expected to fall into the international waters between China and South Korea and the second stage is expected to splash down 190 kilometers east of northern Philippines.

Japan and South Korea have warned that they will shoot down the rocket if it threatens their territories, while the US and the United Nations warned that the launch could jeopardize the humanitarian food aid being delivered to the country.

“Our paramount concern is the safety and security of our citizens in this country, we need to get accurate information where the [splash down of the second stage] area will be, which area will be affected, what the flight path will be, our course of action will depend on all of this,” Burgos said.

A jettisoned rocket stage is known to disintegrate as it burns while falling through the atmosphere but Burgos said that “it’s better to be prepared, security is the paramount concern of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.”