Philippine leader says N. Korea's Kim 'wants to end the world,' urges U.S. restraint

MANILA, April 29 (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday urged the United States to show restraint after North Korea's latest missile test and to avoid playing into the hands of leader Kim Jong Un, who "wants to end the world."

The notoriously blunt Duterte said the Southeast Asia region was extremely worried about tensions between the United States and North Korea, and said one misstep would be a "catastrophe" and Asia would be the first victim of a nuclear war.

The United States, Japan, South Korea and China, he said, were sparring with a man who was excited about the prospect of firing missiles.

North Korea unveils new weapons at military parade:

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North Korea unveils new weapons at military parade
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North Korea unveils new weapons at military parade
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauds during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country's founding father, Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Missiles are driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other high ranking officials during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
High ranking military officers cheer as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrives for a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
People react as they march past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
TOPSHOT - Korean People's Army (KPA) tanks are displayed during a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on April 15 saluted as ranks of goose-stepping soldiers followed by tanks and other military hardware paraded in Pyongyang for a show of strength with tensions mounting over his nuclear ambitions. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
Korean People's Army (KPA) soldiers march on Kim Il-Sung squure during a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on April 15 saluted as ranks of goose-stepping soldiers followed by tanks and other military hardware paraded in Pyongyang for a show of strength with tensions mounting over his nuclear ambitions. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to people attending a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Military vehicles carry missiles with characters reading "Pukkuksong" during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Members of the Korean People's Army (KPA) ride on mobile missile launchers during a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on April 15 saluted as ranks of goose-stepping soldiers followed by tanks and other military hardware paraded in Pyongyang for a show of strength with tensions mounting over his nuclear ambitions. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean soldiers march and shout slogans during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country's founding father Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
An unidentified rocket is displayed during a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un on April 15 saluted as ranks of goose-stepping soldiers followed by tanks and other military hardware paraded in Pyongyang for a show of strength with tensions mounting over his nuclear ambitions. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
People carry flags in front of statues of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung (L) and late leader Kim Jong Il during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean soldiers march and shout slogans during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A soldier salutes from atop an armoured vehicle as it drives past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
North Korean soldiers march and shout slogans during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
North Korean soldiers attend a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Attendees carry sheets in colours of the national flag of North Korea during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
North Korean soldiers, some of them on horses, march during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Civilian attendees watch North Korean soldiers marching during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea, April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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Duterte is current chairman of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and was due to speak by telephone to U.S. President Donald Trump later on Saturday. He said he would urge Trump not to get into a confrontation with Kim.

"There seems to be two countries playing with their toys and those toys are not really to entertain," he told a news conference after the ASEAN summit in Manila, referring to Washington and Pyongyang.

"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."

North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday shortly after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that failure to curb Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs could lead to "catastrophic consequences."

Photos from North Korea's celebration of leader Kim Il Sung:

21 PHOTOS
Photojournalist captures North Korea's celebration of leader Kim Il Sung
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Photojournalist captures North Korea's celebration of leader Kim Il Sung
People walk between buildings after the opening ceremony of a newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean soldiers march as they visit the newly constructed residential complex after its opening ceremony in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Thousands of people arrive for an opening ceremony of a newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People carry flags after an opening ceremony for the newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Men wearing uniforms check a newly constructed residential complex after its opening ceremony in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Women dressed in traditional costumes walk near the main Kim Il Sung square in central Pyongyang, North Korea April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Women wear traditional clothes as North Korea prepares to mark Saturday's 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea's founding father and grandfather of the current ruler, in central Pyongyang, North Korea April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
A man walks the the street decorated with flags as North Korea prepares to mark Saturday's 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea's founding father and grandfather of the current ruler, in central Pyongyang, North Korea April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People practice for the expected parade on the main Kim Il-Sung Square in central Pyongyang, North Korea April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Military officers visit the birthplace of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, a day before the 105th anniversary of his birth, in Mangyongdae, just outside Pyongyang, North Korea April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People react as a vehicle carrying foreign reporters passes towards the newly constructed residential complex before its opening in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Portraits of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung and late leader Kim Jong Il glow as people take part in a mass dance event marking the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea April 15, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Soldiers check their souvenir photo as they visit the flower exhibition marking the 105th birth anniversary of the country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, North Korea April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
People sweep in front of statues of former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in central Pyongyang, North Korea April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
People enjoy the Munsu water park in Pyongyang, North Korea April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People wait in line for a water slide as they enjoy the Munsu water park in Pyongyang, North Korea April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
People gather at the entrance of a zoo in Pyongyang, North Korea April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
Twin girls enjoy their time in a zoo in Pyongyang, North Korea April 16, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
People travel on escalators to enter a subway station in central Pyongyang, North Korea April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
The sun set in Pyongyang, North Korea April 12, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj
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U.S. and South Korean officials said the test appeared to have failed, in what would be the North's fourth straight unsuccessful missile test since March.

Duterte said it was incumbent upon the United States as the a responsible country to not rise to Kim's provocations. He said he was sure Trump had cautioned his military not to allow the situation to spiral out of control.

"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'," Duterte said.

"I will just communicate to (Trump), 'just let him play... do not play into his hands'."

He added: "The guy (Kim) simply wants to end the world, that is why he is very happy. He is always smiling. But he really wants to finish everything and he wants to drag us all down." (Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Ros Russell)

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