MANILA- The Department of National Defense said Saturday it is prepared to address any untoward incident that might affect the country in case North Korea pushes through with its threat to launch a missile strike against the United States.
Defense Chief Delfin Lorenzana said his department is closely monitoring the situation in the region and is treating Pyongyang's threat as a civil defense issue instead of a military one.
"Our Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is on standby and prepared to address any untoward incident that may occur in the aftermath of such a missile launch," he said.
"As we have done in the past, we have directed OCD to coordinate with the AFP in determining the areas that will potentially, although remotely, be affected."
Pyongyang earlier disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the US Pacific territory of Guam.
Tensions in the region have risen since North Korea launched two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July in defiance of world powers.
US President Donald Trump has said he will not allow Pyongyang to develop a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the US and that the country will be "met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
Lorenzana added that no-sail-zone advisories to coastal areas and alert advisories to local government agencies may also be issued to prepare local communities "in case the debris of a missile launch reaches the Philippines."
The defense chief also called on all countries to refrain from taking action that may escalate tensions with North Korea and allayed fears of the public.
"Sa ating mga kababayan, huwag po tayong mangamba. Ang palagi naming sinasabi ay maging alerto lang po tayo at ipagbigay alam sa mga kinauukulan kung may mapansin man kayong hindi karaniwan sa inyong lugar," he said.