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

Within an hour, 2 planes crash-land at Paine Field

One simply landed hard and went off the end of a runway. Another crash involved unextended landing gear.

Mill Creek’s Donna Michelson ready to retire at year’s end

The city’s longest-serving council member says she has every intention of staying involved.

Leanne Smiciklas, the friendly lady who served customers of her husband’s Old School Barbeque from a schoolbus parked in front of the Reptile Zoo east of Monroe, has died at 64. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
Without her, beloved BBQ hotspot in Monroe can’t go on

Leanne Smiciklas, who ran the now-closed Old School BBQ along Highway 2 with her husband, died.

Foundation awards grants to Arlington schools

The Arlington Education Foundation on Nov. 13 presented a check to the… Continue reading

Snohomish County firefighters head to California for 18 days

They’re from Fire District 26 in Gold Bar, Getchell Fire and Fire District 7.

State commission reprimands Snohomish County judge for DUI

Judge Marybeth Dingledy had pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a day in jail.

Driver arrested after car strikes pedestrian in Everett

The pedestrian was crossing the road near 12th Street and Broadway. He was injured.

Active Casino Road volunteer honored for work

Molina Healthcare recently honored Jorge Galindo, from Everett, as one of its… Continue reading

Over $12K raised to InspireHER

InspireHER, a local organization that encourages female empowerment, raised over $12,000 at… Continue reading

Most Read