MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino expressed "grave concern" over North Korea's plan to launch a "satellite" but believed to be a missile and urged North Korea not to proceed with its plan.
In a speech during the inauguration of the PEFTOK Korean War memorial hall, Aquino described the action as a "provocation" and urged North Korea not to proceed with the planned launch.
"We express today our grave concerns over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s plans to launch what it claims as an earth observation satellite, but is widely believed to be a long-range ballistic missile between April 12 and 16. The use of ballistic missile technology in any launch violates UN Security Council Resolutions, and it presents risks to all concerned," he said.
Aquino said the launch increases tensions in the region, and that debris from the launch may land in Philippine territory.
"This is a needless provocation not only in the Korean peninsula, but in our entire region. It is with our respective peoples in mind that we urge the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea not to proceed with its planned launch," he said.
The President asked North Korea to engage with the international community and return to confidence-building measures.
"We must work with each other in the spirit of cooperation and with the goal of mutual success. Stability, peace and prosperity in our region requires all of us to continue to engage with each other, and the larger international community in ways that build confidence. The way forward is for the DPRK to engage the international community and return to actions that promote confidence-building among its neighbors," he said.