The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte discusses North Korea situation with US Pacific Command head

August 23, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte discussed on Wednesday the situation in the Korean Peninsula and the threat of North Korea to launch missile attack to Guam with Admiral Harry Harris Jr., commander of the United States Pacific Command.
Harris called on Duterte in Malacanang. Duterte said he was happy and honored to be visited by the commander of the US Pacific Command.
Duterte asked Harris if he was not worried about North Korea's missiles. Harris admitted that he was concerned on the matter. "“But you are not worried about the missiles of North Korea?,” Duterte asked.  Harris replied: “I am worried… I just came from there”.
Duterte also cited China's possible influence over North Korea to stop the latter on its nuclear program and ballistic missile launch.
"China has the greatest leverage over North Korea," he said.
During the call, US Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Sung was also present.
Joining the President were Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff  General Eduardo Año.
Prior to Harris' call, Duterte also welcomed in Malacanang executives of China Communications Construction Co.
Duterte expressed hope that the Chinese firm could help in the infrastructure projects in the Philippines.
"We are very happy that you come here to express your desire to help the Philippines
and we thank you," he said as he lauded Chinese President Xi Jinping "who is going out of his way to help us.
"I must say we really need the help of China in infrastructure. Nothing seems to be moving here  at a fast rate because of traffic and lack of viable infra(structure)," Duterte said.
The Duterte administration has been pushing for "Build, Build, Build" program which provides for huge infrastructure projects in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.
The government is largely banking on Chinese and Japanese loans for these projects. Celerina Monte/DMS