Korean crisis and Asean’s gains

By Ricky Poca May 01,2017
Ricky Poca

Ricky Poca

The US is now faced with the problem of how to deal with North Korea under Kim Jong-Un, who is insisting on testing their missiles despite warnings from US President Donald Trump, South Korea, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

President Trump asked China to used its influence on North Korea to stop its missile testing and warned North Korea of sanctions if it continues to test its missiles.

The Asean is alarmed about the tension in the Korean Peninsula and asked everyone concerned including the US to tone down the rhetoric lest it may lead to war.

President Trump increased pressure on North Korea by mobilizing its warships to South Korea for a joint military exercise. The North may retaliate, and how it would do so remains alarmingly uncertain.

The problem with the Trump administration is that it has no clear foreign policy in dealing with hostile countries except perhaps Syria.

I join the rest of the world in hoping that war won’t break out in the Korean peninsula.

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Last week’s Asean Summit ended with a commitment of cooperation on security, war against drugs and economy but with no mention of the Chinese military buildup at the South China Sea.

Many said the summit is a missed opportunity for the Asean to bring China’s expansion on the table.

The small successes include the Philippines and Indonesia allowing a roll-on, roll-off (Roro) vessel route from Davao to General Santos then to Bitung, Indonesia, which cuts the trip from two to three weeks to one or two days.

What was also interesting is that our President received a call from US President Donald Trump who confirmed his visit to the Philippines in November this year and invited Mr. Duterte to visit the US.

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It’s not just the discovery of a secret cell in Tondo, Manila, by personnel of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) that housed 10 inmates that is shocking but PNP Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s reaction to it.

He said there is nothing wrong with the secret cell, which is disturbing considering that a secret cell should not exist in a democratic country like ours.

Now there is a call to inventory all the inmates and prison cells in our country to prevent the same incident from happening elsewhere.

In a civil society, a secret cell has no place in the community even in a rundown police headquarters.

The incident in Tondo, Manila, is a reminder to the PNP that it should be accountable to the public.

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