PLAYING WITH FIRE

Philippines' Duterte Urges U.S. Restraint With N. Korea

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has chimed in on the escalating situation with North Korea, urging the U.S. on Saturday to exercise restraint in dealing with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, who “wants to end the world.” Duterte said his country was alarmed by the current tensions, warning that in the face of a “catastrophe” Asia would be the first to be affected by nuclear war. “There seems to be two countries playing with their toys and those toys are not really to entertain,” Duterte said at a news conference in Manila, according to Reuters. “You know that they are playing with somebody who relishes letting go of missiles and everything. I would not want to go into his (Kim's) mind because I really do not know what's inside but he's putting mother earth, the planet to an edge,” he said. His comments came before he was due to speak with U.S. President Trump by phone on Saturday, and after U.S. and South Korean officials said Pyongyang’s latest missile launched had failed earlier Saturday. Duterte said he would bring up the issue during his planned conversation with Trump. “Who am I to say that you should stop? But I would say 'Mr. President, please see to it that there is no war because my region will suffer immensely,’” he said.