The Department of National Defense vowed to monitor North Korea’s planned rocket launch next month to prevent a “possible disaster.”

“The safety of the people that may be affected is paramount. What we can do is monitor, we will ask appropriate authorities about the flight path,” DND spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said in a briefing.

Galvez was reacting to reports that parts of the rocket, which North Korea says will only deploy a satellite, may drop into Philippine territory, particularly in waters near Luzon.

“In terms of a possible disaster, it is a concern,” he said.

Galvez said the department will be “looking into possibilities” such as asking the US’ help in monitoring the rocket launch.

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs expressed “grave concern” over the launch, which may happen between April 12 and 16, and called it “unacceptable.”

“We strongly urge (North Korea) not to proceed with its planned launch,” the DFA said in a statement, adding that North Korea should abide by UN resolutions urging the country to suspend all activities related to its ballistic missile program. (John Roson)

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