The Commander of United States Pacific Command (PACOM) Navy Admiral Harry Harris Jr. revealed the greatest threat he is facing daily in the Pacific region before Military Reporters and Editors Association in Washington October 10. “The greatest threat that I face on a day-to-day basis is the threat from North Korea, because you have an unpredictable leaders who is in complete command of his country and his military,” the American Admiral said as quoted in the official website of US Department of Defense.
He explained that Kim Jong-un is “on a quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them intercontinentally” posing “a very real threat to the 28,000 Americans in South Korea, the nation of South Korea, Japan and on and on.”
“At some point in the future, as he develops his capability, North Korea will present a very real threat to Hawaii and the rest of the United States,” Admiral Harris further said. “Now, I have to be ready from a position of strength to deal with North Korea and we are ready to deal – any time that Kim Jong-un decides to act.”
He also updated the media present regarding the US Rebalance to the Pacific. He said USPACOM is responsible for “the oldest and largest of the geographic combatant commands and responsible for all US military forces from Hollywood to Bollywood and from polar bears to penguins.”
In the command’s area are the three largest world economies. Seven of the world’s 10 largest standing armies are in the region, as are five of the seven nations that have nuclear arms.
“The presence of our joint military forces in key locations throughout the region, underpins the rules-based, international order, and provides opportunity to engage with other countries while being positioned to respond to crises,” Admiral Harris said.
“While I’ve been known to be critical of China’s provocative military activities these past two years – I will also acknowledge when China has been helpful, such as China’s counterpiracy efforts off the Horn of Africa and the search for the Malaysian airliner off the coast of Australia,” he added.