Militia attacks in the sea could activate the Mutual Defense Treaty with the US

Militia attacks in the sea could activate the Mutual Defense Treaty with the US




The United States of America Ambassador to the Philippines  Sung Kim said that foreign led attacks initiated by miltia or armed civilians in the diputed West Philippine Sea may trigger the activation of the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) of the United States and the Philippines.
The US Ambassador in an interview with Cignal TV’s One News  reiterated the US commitment to honor the provisions of the treaty, which bind the two countries in case of an external armed conflict.

“(US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo) made clear that because the South China Sea is part of the Pacific, under the treaty itself, any armed attack on Filipino vessels, Filipino aircraft will trigger our obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty,” he said.

US Ambasador to the PH Sung Kim (photo credit to owner)

“I think that’s about as clear as you can get without getting into millions of possible hypothetical situations,” added Kim.

Ambassador Kin said that the MDT covers any armed external attack against Filipino forces, including public vessels.

“Any armed attack, I would think that would include government-sanctioned militias,” he said when asked about the presence of Chinese militia in the South China Sea.
 “We are totally committed to the obligations under the Mutual Defense Treaty and we will live up to those obligations. I have confidence that our defense leaders in Washington and Manila understand what is at stake and that when we encounter situations that will require our commitment to come to reality, I think we will deliver,” he added.





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Report from PhilStar

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