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Philippine gov't downplays DPRK's warning for foreigners to leave South Korea


20:43, April 10, 2013

MANILA, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government on Wednesday downplayed the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's ( DPRK) warning to all foreigners to leave South Korea amid volatile security situation in the peninsula.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said mass repatriation is not being considered at this time, but noted that Philippine officials in Seoul are prepared anytime to activate its contingency plan to ensure the safety of more than 40,000 Filipinos there.

Tensions in the Korean Peninsula is the latest potential crisis involving overseas Filipinos workers to be dealt with by the Philippine government following the violence and unrest in Libya and Syria in recent years.

"We will only raise the alert levels when we are very sure that there is an imminent attack or an all out war in the South Korean soil is inevitable," Hernandez told a press briefing Wednesday.

One critical determinant, he added, would be the declaration by the South Korean government of national emergency.

"Remember, before that they also called for the evacuation of the staff of the embassies in the DPRK and it seems nobody responded to that call. Now they are calling for foreigners to leave South Korea but it seems that the foreigners there are shrugging off this advisory," he said.

Nevertheless, Hernandez said there has been no let up in the government's efforts to enhance its preparedness for any eventuality.

He said the Philippine embassy in Seoul is in touch with South Korean authorities as well as the United Nations command and U.S. forces. "We are trying to get in depth analysis and solid intelligence regarding the possibility of an imminent attack," Hernandez said.

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