US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris, the focus of whose region of operation is primarily the Korean Peninsula, today talked up the threats posed by “aggressive” North Korea, accusing them of being on “a quest for nuclear weapons.”
Admiral Harris saw the primary tactic for “deterring” North Korea from taking actions because it feels so threatened by the large US presence is an even larger US presence, along with even more South Korean and Japanese involvement.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that an official whose sphere of influence depends almost wholly on playing up North Korea as a “threat” would continue to do so, but it is noteworthy that, in presenting North Korea as an ever-growing threat, he counseled more of the same bellicosity.
While pumping more US weapons into the peninsula and yelling at Kim Jong-un seems to be the go-to solution for most officials, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump today said he would be willing to talk to Kim in an effort to get him to abandon his existing nuclear program.
That’s likely to be a controversial proposal, with US presidents historically making their unwillingness to talk the centerpiece of Korean policy. North Korea has offered peace talks, and outright deals to end the 1950 Korean War several times in recent years, only for the US to \unilaterally reject them all.