Gov't assures public safety amid North Korea nuclear test

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North Korea Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un observes the state's missile-ready hydrogen bomb. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 4) — The government said public contingency plans are in place as North Korea continues to threaten regional security through its nuclear tests.

"The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is in continuous coordination with relevant national government agencies to ensure the safety of our people in light of the recent actions by North Korea that may put at risk the lives of our fellow Filipinos," said OCD Assistant Secretary Toby Purisima in a press briefing Monday.

Purisima said the contingency plans includes information campaigns for local government units, and response plans adjustable to various scenarios.

"Although, we do not anticipate that there will be, of course, we'll be part of the direct trajectory of any launch, we will prepare for the debris," Purisima said.

On Sunday, the Philippines expressed its grave concern over reports from the isolationist state, claiming they successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.

In a Monday statement, the Defense Department said it will continue to monitor the situation in the region.

"The proliferation of this weapon increases the tension not only in the Korean peninsula but also adversely affects the peace and security of the whole of Asia as well," the statement read.

The Foreign Affairs Department instructed the Philippine embassy in Seoul to inform about 65,000 Filipinos living and working in South Korea of contingency plans "in case the situation further escalates" in the Korean peninsula.

Read more: DFA: PH ‘gravely concerned’ over North Korea bomb test

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who met with North Korea Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministerial meetings last month, said the missile tests limit options for dialogue between concerned countries and North Korea.

"The Philippines urges (North Korea) to return to the negotiating table. ASEAN is ready to play a role in creating diplomatic space to effect meaningful dialogue," Cayetano said.