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US, Philippines to boost cooperation in the wake of N. Korea's rocket launch

Published on Dec 13, 2012 12:50 PM
Philippine Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia, US Assistant Secretary of Defense Mark Lippert and US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell join hands after the press briefing of the 3rd Philippines-United States Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Manila on Dec 12, 2012. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANILA (AFP) - Long-time allies the United States and the Philippines on Thursday blasted North Korea's "provocative" rocket launch as a threat to regional security and pledged to strengthen their military ties.

In a statement following bilateral talks attended by top diplomats and security officials, the two countries vowed to boost cooperation in the wake of Pyongyang's move.

They agreed to bolster joint efforts relating to maritime security, disaster response, law enforcement and cyber-security, and non-proliferation (of nuclear weapons), the statement said.

"The two sides also strongly condemned... (the launch) utilising ballistic missile technology and emphasised that this highly provocative act is in direct violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions," the statement said.

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