US admiral says Nokor missile plan alarming

A VISITING American official on Wednesday expressed alarm over the intercontinental ballistic missiles possessed by North Korea in his meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang. 

Admiral Harry Harris Jr., commander of the United States Pacific Command, told Duterte that Washington was worried by the developments in the region. 

“I am worried. I just came from there,” Harris said. 

But Duterte said China “has the greatest leverage over North Korea.” 

On Wednesday, Beijing demanded that Washington to immediately withdraw a package of sanctions on some companies and individuals trading with North Korea. 

China’s Foreign Ministry insisted its government had fully implemented the UN Security Council resolutions on North Korea, and would punish anyone caught violating the Security Council sanctions under Chinese law. 

It said it opposed sanctions outside the framework of the Security Council.

Harris was accompanied by US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, US Embassy Defense Attaché Col. Ernest Lee, and US Pacific Command Major General Jeffrey Kruse.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces Chief Eduardo Año, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella, and Foreign Secretary Allan Cayetano were  present during the meeting.

Duterte likewise met with the officials of China Communications Construction Co.  and thanked President Xi Jinping “for going out of his way to help us.”

“And I must say that we really need the help of China in our infrastructure. Nothing seems to be moving here at a fast rate because of traffic and, of course, the lack of viable infrastructure,” Duterte said.

“So we are hopeful that our talks now will produce results for the good of your country and for our welfare also as you are trying to help us.”

CCCC is a transportation infrastructure group in China that is principally engaged in the design and construction of transportation infrastructure, dredging and heavy machinery manufacturing.

During the meeting, CCCC President Chen Fenjian expressed gratitude to the Philippine government for allowing it to bridge better connections between the two nations.

Duterte reiterated his administration’s continued commitment to open new economic alliances with its Asian neighbors. 

He vowed to keep pushing for stronger policies that would make it easier for foreign businesses and investments to thrive in the country. 

He also expressed hope that the Philippines’ stronger relationship with China would pave the way for a greatly improved the lives of Filipino as well as promote peace in the region and in the world. 

Topics: North Korea , Admiral Harry Harris Jr.
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