MANILA - The Philippines on Wednesday called on North Korea to commit to "making meaningful progress" towards peace following Pyongyang's latest ballistic missile test.
Foreign Affairs Chief Alan Peter Cayetano said Philippines lamented North Korea's continued weapons development, which has only increased tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
"We call on Pyongyang to commit to making meaningful progress towards the peaceful resolution of the issues facing the Korean Peninsula," Cayetano said in a statement.
"Meaningful dialogue can only happen when the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) ceases such provocative and highly dangerous actions," he added.
Pyongyang on Wednesday morning fired a ballistic missile, South Korea's military said, while the Japanese government said it may have landed in the country's exclusive economic zone.
The launch of the missile came after the United States placed North Korea back on Washington's list of state sponsors of terrorism last week as part of efforts to increase pressure on Pyongyang to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
Cayetano also floated the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' (ASEAN) readiness "to play a constructive role to help reduce tensions and promote peace in the Peninsula."
The foreign affairs chief also assured Filipinos in Japan and South Korea of the Philippine government's commitment to providing timely information on North Korea.
"Our Foreign Service Posts in Seoul, Tokyo and Osaka continue to closely monitor the situation and provide up-to-date information to our Filipino communities in these countries," Cayetano said.
Around 65,000 and 242,000 Filipinos are living in the Republic of Korea and Japan, respectively. -with a report from Reuters