AFP: Debris from North Korea missile strike of Guam could reach PH

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Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 11) — Armed Forces of the Philippines Spokesperson Restituto Padilla said the country could be affected if North Korea makes good its threat to launch missiles at Guam.

"If ever it disintegrates in the atmosphere, potentially, it would have shattered debris that may scatter around in the area or its trajectory," he said at an August 11 Palace briefing. "So it could hit some northern coastal areas. We have to forewarn our citizens to be on the lookout, but that's something that we see as remote."

Padilla's statement comes after North Korea said on August 10 that it is "seriously examining a plan" to launch a missile strike at military bases in the U.S. territory of Guam, which is located around 2,500 kilometers east of the Philippines.

Read: North Korea 'seriously examining' a strike near Guam

According to a statement by North Korea state news agency KCNA, the country plans to send Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic missiles toward Guam by "mid-August and report it to the commander-in-chief of the DPRK nuclear force and wait for his order."

Kim Jong Un is understood to be the commander-in-chief of the nuclear force.

The statement added that the Hwasong-12 rockets would cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi prefectures of Japan and fly 3,356.7 kilometers for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 kilometers away from Guam.

There is no indication from the KCNA statement that the Hwasong-12 missiles pointed at Guam would be tipped with nuclear warheads.

'Fire and fury' amid sanctions

The isolationist state's warning comes after U.S. President Donald Trump said on August 8 that North Korea will face "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continues to threaten the U.S., which also has a sizeable nuclear arsenal.

Read: Trump threatens North Korea after US assesses they have miniaturized a nuclear warhead

The threat likewise comes after the United Nations Security Council imposed new and tougher sanctions on North Korea.

The UN resolution targets North Korea's primary exports, including coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore and seafood, as well as other revenue streams, such as banks and joint ventures with foreign companies.

The sanctions will slash North Korea's annual export revenue of $3 billion (around P153 billion) by more than a third, according to a statement from the office of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on August 11 that the Philippines is studying its options in dealing with the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.

Read: Defense Chief: Gov't studying options on U.S.-North Korea tension

"This is different kasi, mga rockets na lang pinapalipad. Anong gagawin natin dyan, wala naman tayong laban dyan, sa rockets nila? Let's see how these things develop, dahil nagkakainitan, sagutan," he told CNN Philippines.

[Translation: This is different since these are rockets we are talking about. We have nothing to be able to deter those rockets. Let's see how these things develop. Things are heating up.]

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said on August 10 that the government is prepared for an attack of Guam, where around 43,000 Filipinos live.

Read: Abella: Plans in place if North Korea strikes near Guam

"The embassies and consulates in general including the one in Agana, Guam have contingency plans which are regularly updated to enable them to respond to emergencies," Presidential Spokesperson Abella said at a briefing.-XXX-