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Rodrigo Duterte: War with N Korea would 'end humanity'

Rodrigo Duterte: War with N Korea would 'end humanity'
From Al Jazeera - November 14, 2017

A war with North Korea would result in the "end of humanity", the Philippine president warned, in the strongest comments yet against a military confrontation after US President Donald Trump wrapped up his Asia-Pacific trip.

Rodrigo Duterte predicted a war with the North would end in a "nuclear holocaust" in his closing remarks at the ASEAN summit on Tuesday in Manila.

He said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un "is toying with these nuclear bombs" that are 200-300 times more powerful than what the United States dropped on Japan during World War II.

''We cannot start a war with the North Korean crisis looming ahead. There are dark clouds there. We better pray," Duterte told the audience.

"If all of those missiles and the (intercontinental ballistic missile) ICBM's would explode, that would mean the end of humanity The destruction, it would be the end of everything," he warned.

The Philippine leader's comments came after a 12-day tour of the region by Trump with discussions on how to neutralise the North's nuclear weapons programme high on the agenda along the way.

Coinciding with the US president's visit, South Korean warships and three American aircraft carrier strike groups converged off the Korean Peninsula for major war exercises.

North Korean state media described the unusual military build-up as a direct threat against the communist country.

The US "is now driving the peninsula situation to the worst phase of nuclear war as it finds fault with the DPRK's self-defensive countermeasures to boost its nuclear capability", the weekly Pyongyang Times newspaper said in a Tuesday commentary headlined "Nuclear clouds gather over Asia-Pacific."

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