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

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

As rain continues, Snohomish River still rising in places

Monroe and Snohomish likely won’t see the end of flood stage until Friday.

Is the state Transportation Commission irrelevant?

A report says the citizen panel often is ignored, and its duties overlap with the Transportation Department.

Most Read