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PHL embassies in Guam, Japan and South Korea prepare contingency plans following NoKor missile threat

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, August 11th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — “Experts say North Korea’s missile threat is not credible. But of course we shouldn’t take the current tension for granted,” Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar said.

This was in line with the growing threat of missile strike from North Korea, in consideration of the safety of Filipinos in neighboring countries Japan, Guam and South Korea.

Embassies of the Philippines in the said countries are now coordinating with officials in their country of assignment as regard the consolidation of contingency plans in case the tension escalates.

“Given this new development, embassies are now updating their contingency plans to suit the current situation,” said Bolivar.

North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong-Un recently threatened to launch a missile strike to Guam, one of the territories of the United States in the Pacific where its military facilities are located.

This could obviously affect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) residing in Guam and also in Japan and South Korea.

But DFA assured that the situation in the said countries remains normal and there is nothing to worry about as regards the safety of the Filipinos.

“Like what our embassies are saying, tourist arrival in Guam is still normal,” said Bolivar. — Macky Libradilla | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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North and South Korean leaders shake hands at the border

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, April 27th, 2018

Smiling and shaking hands, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met at the heavily fortified demilitarized zone between the countries on Friday (April 27,) in the first summit for the two Koreas in over a decade.

Moon greeted Kim at the military demarcation line at 9:30 a.m. (0030 GMT), making Kim the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Kim invited Moon to step briefly across the demarcation line into North Korea, before the two leaders crossed back into South Korea holding hands.

The two were handed flowers by a South Korean boy and girl, residents of a village situated in the demilitarized zone. – Reuters

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PH-Kuwait agreement on OFW protection to push through amid rift – Cayetano

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Overseas Filipino workers in Kuwait

SINGAPORE – Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano has assured that the signing of the bilateral agreement between the Philippines and Kuwait will push through despite the recent setback in the two countries’ diplomatic relations.

Cayetano said it is likely to happen by middle of May this year.

“In fact they are following up on the signing as well as Secretary Bello. We will try to have the signing of the agreement here in the Philippines before Ramadan,” Cayetano said upon his arrival to Singapore to attend the 32nd ASEAN Summit.

The agreement covers protection for Filipino household and skilled workers in Kuwait and a number of privileges such as the use of communication gadget, the right of OFWs to keep their passports and employment documents and to ask the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) the opportunity to choose an employer in case of unfavorable working conditions.

However, Cayetano couldn’t confirm if the agreement has provisions on whether or not the Philippines will lift its deployment ban of workers in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, the Kuwaiti government is yet to respond to the apology sent by Cayateno over the rescue of distressed OFWs by the Philippine Embassy staff which led to Kuwait’s expulsion of Ambassador Renato Pedro Villa.

Cayateno, however, said Villa will still stay in Kuwait to carry on with assisting our compatriots in need of embassy assistance.

The Secretary also confirmed the arrest of the drivers of the rescue team. However, he is confident of their release as they were just hired by the embassy. – Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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Kuwait expels Philippine ambassador amid diplomatic row

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Philippine Embassy in Kuwait

 

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)  has confirmed that the Kuwaiti government has expelled Ambassador Renato Villa and has given him a week to return to Manila.

The expulsion comes in the wake of Kuwait’s diplomatic protest after videos emerged showing the undercover rescue of distressed Filipino workers by embassy personnel.

In a statement sent to media, the DFA said it finds the action taken by Kuwait “deeply disturbing” especially after Kuwaiti Ambassador Musaed Saleh Ahmad Althwaikh assured DFA Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano during their recent meeting that all is well despite the incident.

The Department added that it will seek an explanation from Ambassador Saleh first thing on Thursday.

Diplomatic tensions have been simmering between the two nations triggered by the murder of a Filipina domestic helper in the Arab country.— UNTV News & Rescue

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