Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday urged the United States to show restraint after North Korea’s latest missile test.
Speaking as chairman of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)the notoriously blunt Duterte said one misstep would be a “catastrophe” and Asia would be the first victim of a nuclear war.
Duterte was due to speak by telephone to U.S. President Donald Trump later on Saturday. He said he would urge Trump not to get into a confrontation with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un.
“There seems to be two countries playing with their toys, and those toys are not really to entertain. And we have to caution everybody, including those who would give the advice to the two power players – because here there are nuclear warheads – to just show restraint,” he said.
On this week’s cover of the German newspaper “Der Spiegel” #100DaysOfShame pic.twitter.com/WQkxOtx6Cc— R. Saddler (@Politics_PR) April 24, 2017
The United States, Japan, South Korea and China, Duterte said, are sparring with a man who was excited about the prospect of firing missiles because he “wants to end the world”.
North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday, just hours after Washington called for more sanctions over its nuclear program. U.S. and South Korean officials said the test appeared to have failed, in what would be the North’s fourth straight unsuccessful missile test since March.
However, the Trump administration has warned it could take military action if diplomacy failed, and has sent US warships to the region.