Samuel Locklear, chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, has said the organization is committed to working with Asian allies to ensure the security and stability of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, DoD News reported Wednesday.
Cheryl Pellerin writes the Navy admiral highlighted the command’s efforts to strengthen bilateral military relationships between the U.S. and partner nations in Asia during a press conference held Tuesday at the Pentagon.
He believes the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict may warrant a reconsideration of U.S. and NATO posture in Europe, but he does not think the situation will affect the U.S.’ policy rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific.
“We’re seeing tangible evidence across all elements of the rebalance, not only in force structure, … so I think we remain on course,” Locklear told reporters Tuesday.
“I don’t get the sense that we’re backing away from the Asia-Pacific rebalance because of other events occurring in the rest of the world,” he added, according to DoD News.
Locklear addressed reporters’ questions regarding the political tension between South Korea and Japan and international sanctions against North Korea for that country’s nuclear weapon programs.
He noted that the U.S. govenrment has called on the governments of Japan and South Korea to address their political misunderstandings in order for the U.S. to increase security efforts in those countries.
Locklear also said that many nations participate in U.S.’ counterproliferation exercises to better deal with North Korean nuclear threats, according to the publication.
“There’s wide debate throughout the intelligence community about how much capability they have, the ability to weaponize it, the ability to put it into warheads and those types of things,” he told reporters.
“And I have to plan for, No. 1, what the North Koreans say they have, and they say they have it, … so I take it seriously.”