Meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Onodera Itsunori, US Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris emphasized the role America’s massive military presence in the Pacific plays in any potential diplomatic efforts toward North Korea.
“Clearly, while diplomacy must be the main effort with North Korea, it has to be diplomacy backed by credible military power,” Harris insisted at the start of the meeting.
That diplomacy is the main focus at all is something US officials have been loathe to admit. The US idea of credible military power, it seems, hinges heavily on threats to start a massive war unilaterally.
These comments may be intended as a retort to South Korea’s ruling party leader, who warned yesterday that the US mustn’t attack North Korea without their consent. Given the US view of posing a credible threat as diplomatic strategy, they may believe that making irresponsible threats is just par for the course, and not something their allies should take seriously.