Pacific commander plans for NKorea missile threat

WASHINGTON — The chief of U.S. forces in the Pacific said Tuesday he’s planning for the possibility that North Korea has an intercontinental ballistic missile that can hit America although it’s unclear if they really do.

Adm. Samuel Locklear told reporters that North Korea wants the world to believe that it has such a capability, so he’s bound to take that threat seriously.

Over the past 18 months, North Korea has conducted a nuclear test, launched a long-range rocket into space and displayed at a military parade its road mobile KN-08 missile.

If operable, the KN-08 could potentially hit the U.S. But some experts say the missiles on show were mock-ups.

“Whether they are real or not, or whether they have the capability or not, (the) North Korean regime wants us to think they do and so we plan for that” to protect the U.S. and the region, Locklear said.

He said an unpredictable and nuclear-armed North Korea presents the most danger to the world within his area of military command, which stretches from waters off the west coast of the U.S. to the western border of India.

Locklear also stressed the importance of preventing territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific that could be resolved through international law and compromise from becoming regional flashpoints.

China, in particular, has long-running disputes with many of its neighbors, including U.S. ally Japan. The two Asian nations have competing claims to remote islands in the East China Sea and that has stoked tensions.

China last week accused a Japanese naval and air patrol of disrupting a recent Chinese military drill that was using live ammunition. Japan denied disrupting the drill.

Locklear said it was not abnormal for Japan to have observed the Chinese exercises the way they did and Japan’s action should not be viewed as provocative.

More in Local News

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Police looking for Lynnwood bank robber

The robber did not flash a weapon to the teller at a U.S. Bank.

Employee threats caused lockdown at Arlington elementary

Arlington Police said all students and staff were.

Sirens! Flashing lights! — Move over!

We are a confident bunch on what to do when we hear… Continue reading

Marysville quits fire-department merger talks

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

Everett marchers: ‘There’s too much to protest’ for one sign

About 150 people joined the “March to Impeach” from the waterfront to a county courthouse rally.

Jayme Biendl, 34, was a correctional officer at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe.
In testimony in Olympia, dozens urge abolition of death penalty

But others said it shouldn’t be eliminated without putting it before the voters.

Food stuffs for a local chapter of A Simple Gesture at Fitness Evolution, the communal pick-up point, in Arlington on Jan. 12. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
In it together in Arlington

A new program makes it more convenient to collect items for the food bank.

Most Read