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Pinoys can sue North Korea for damages from rocket launch

Filipinos can sue North Korea for damages if parts of the rocket it would launch this week fall on their homes or property, a former astronomy official said Monday.   Maximo Sacro Jr., the first curator of the Philippine Planetarium, said the suit can be pursued in an international forum like the United Nations.   "Responsibility nila ‘yan, babayaran nila ‘yan, damages ‘yan. That's part of the risk," Sacro said in an interview on radio dzBB.   It is likely that parts of the rocket booster to be ejected from the North Korean rocket ship would burn in the atmosphere before hitting the ground or the sea, according to the Planetarium curator, noting that titanium casing can resist high temperatures.   "Pagbalik sa kalupaan baka tunaw na tunaw na ‘yan," he said.   North Korea is to launch a rocket ship between April 12 and 16, with a satellite payload that Pyongyang intends to set in orbit.   Sacro, who had been studying and observing man-made satellites, said it is unlikely North Korea’s rocket would go astray after launch, adding Pyongyang is not likely to be so careless as to embarrass itself with a failed launch.   He said the part that has a chance of falling on Philippine territory is the second-stage rocket booster, with first-stage segment likely to fall in North Korean territory.   The second-stage booster will likely fall into the atmosphere two to three days after launch, said Sacro.   Should parts of the rocket fall on Philippine territory, Filipinos should not approach it immediately as it would be very hot, Sacro noted. “Pag bumulusok ito sa tubig kukulo ang tubig,” he added. —VS, GMA News