The ICAS Lectures

2016-0517-HBH

The Asia Pacific Theater and US National Security

Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr.


ICAS Spring Symposium

May 17, 2016, 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Hart Office Office Building room 216
United States Senate
Washington, DC


Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
Email: icas@icasinc.org
http://www.icasinc.org

Biographic sketch & Links: Harry B. Harris, Jr.

The Asia Pacific Theater and US National Security

ADM Harry B. Harris, Jr.
Commander, U.S. Pacific Command





Ladies and gentlemen, I'm honored to be in your company so that I can convey how important the U.S. / Republic of Korea alliance is to me, both personally and professionally. It's a historical fact that my father, a Tennessee native, served in the Navy throughout World War II and the Korean War before retiring in 1958. My dad spent a lot of time in Korea -- mostly in Chinhae with the Korean Navy -- and from his stories, I gained a deep appreciation for the Korean culture at an early age.

Engagements like this and many visits to the Peninsula during my military career have only deepened that admiration. So truly, thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you today.

Long-winded speakers in this town are as common as traffic jams -- both are to be avoided at all costs. So I'll keep my remarks short.

Folks, I'm thrilled to join my friends from ICAS -- an organization with the noble motto of "advancing humanity, liberty, peace and security among all nations and all people." For five decades, ICAS has been dedicated to pursuing peace and prosperity with an emphasis on multilateral relations between the United States and Indo-Asia-Pacific nations -- that sounds like U.S. Pacific Command! You've supported the deep thinkers and big ideas that have helped to shape America's relationships with key allies and partners in the region. I appreciate your support for the rules-based security architecture that has served the Indo-Asia-Pacific so well for so long. As the region faces a multitude of threats, your ideas and discussions are more important than ever.

Bilateral relationships -- like America's ironclad alliance with South Korea -- have dominated our regional discussions for many years. But recently, U.S. Pacific Command has been working to expand our relationship networks into trilaterals, quadrilaterals and multilaterals.

So one idea that I'd like to discuss with you today is my priority to advance trilateral cooperation between South Korea, Japan and the U.S.

I strongly believe that constructive relations between Japan and South Korea -- our key treaty allies in Northeast Asia -- help to advance peace and prosperity throughout the entire region.

Our three countries share so much in common: democracy, free markets, a commitment to human rights, and common security threats. We are stronger together... and I believe there is much we can achieve with closer cooperation.

But before discussing the importance of this vital trilateral framework, I'd like to provide a brief overview of U.S. Pacific Command, or PACOM as we call it.

PACOM is America's oldest and largest military combatant command. Headquartered in Hawaii, it's made up of nearly 400,000 personnel -- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Department of Defense civilians -- who defend American interests over half the Earth: from Hollywood to Bollywood... from penguins to polar bears.

PACOM is responsible for all U.S. military operations in the vast Indo-Asia-Pacific. About 20 percent of the entire U.S. military is assigned to PACOM, the most assigned forces of any combatant command. Our motto is "be ready to fight tonight." One of our sub-unified commands, U.S. Forces Korea, epitomizes this commitment. Led by my good friend General Vince Brooks, the 28,500 American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen of U.S. Forces Korea help maintain security and stability on the Peninsula.

Now, when referring to our area of operation, I prefer using the term Indo-Asia-Pacific, as this more accurately captures the fact that the Indian and Pacific Oceans are the economic lifeblood that links India, Australia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, Oceania, South America and North America.

Oceans that once were physical and psychological barriers that kept us apart are now maritime super highways that bring us together as one global economy.

My boss -- Secretary of Defense Ash Carter -- has said that "trade requires safe passage... investment requires stability... innovation requires freedom... and each of these requires security."

Clearly, security and stability fuel prosperity. One of the slides I often show to those who visit our Hawaii headquarters is a picture of the Han River in 1953, which is basically a blank canvas... and then I show a picture of the same area today that depicts the economically vibrant city of Seoul.

I use this picture along with images of other cities throughout Asia to help demonstrate how prosperity and security are inextricably linked -- and how the current rules-based international order has set the conditions for the economic rise of many Asian nations.

Secretary Carter has also called the Indo-Asia Pacific the single most consequential region for America's future. Indeed, Asia is now the economic center of gravity for the global economy. And this helps explain why President Obama initiated our strategic Rebalance to the Indo-Asia-Pacific back in 2011.

The Rebalance is an intentional effort based on a strategy of collaboration and cooperation. But the Rebalance is not just a security-or defense-centered policy, it's a whole of government effort: diplomatic political, and especially economic.

The collective respect for, and adherence to, international rules and norms by like-minded nations have now produced the longest era of peace and prosperity in modern history. In my opinion, this has been made possible by a carefully crafted security architecture in the region. This structure has been supported by 7 decades of U.S.-forward military presence and underpinned by America's five bilateral security alliances with Australia, the Philippines, Thailand... and Japan and South Korea.

And thanks to our whole-of-government Rebalance, the regional security architecture has been nourished by our growing partnerships with nations like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Bangladesh... and Mongolia -- a nation I look forward to visiting next week.

Despite the good news on how our Rebalance has led to greater cooperation and stability in the region, there are also threats -- and no threat is more dangerous than North Korea.

Of course, I don't need to remind the members of ICAS about this. But I will note the irony in the fact that, as we began the Rebalance, Kim Jong Un assumed power following his father's death in December 2011. The current regime demonstrates a more aggressive and unpredictable North Korea.

KJU exercises complete dominion over his citizens in a brutal fashion including purges and public executions. He now flagrantly rejects United Nations Security Council Resolutions condemning his nuclear aspirations and ballistic missile-related activities. Additionally, he recently threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes against the United States and other countries in the region.

Folks, make no mistake -- North Korea is on a quest for nuclear weapons, a means to miniaturize them, and the ways to deliver them intercontinentally. As we speak, North Korea has hundreds of thousands of rockets within range of Seoul, posing a real threat to American troops and their families, Republic of Korea citizens, and the region. This is a menace to both our Korean and Japanese allies.

The best way to effectively counter North Korea's aggression is through credible combat power, unrelenting resolve in the face of provocations, and sustained partnerships with our closest allies. This is a big reason why I'm doing everything possible to encourage trilateral cooperation with Japan and the Republic of Korea.

The current level of military cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the United States is good, but I'd like it to get better.

The South Korean and Japanese governments recently took a big step forward by reaching an agreement surrounding the "comfort women" issue. I applaud the leaders of both countries for having the courage and vision to settle this difficult historical issue... and I agree with President Park's observation that it was "especially meaningful" to reach such an agreement coincident with the 50th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo.

Today, South Korea, Japan and the United States share a desire to lend their resources and incredible human talent to the task of improving the well-being of citizens around the globe.

Earlier this spring, President Park, Prime Minister Abe, and President Obama met in Washington, D.C. to reaffirm a common vision for a rules-based order at the heart of the Indo-Asia-Pacific, where all countries -- regardless of size -- act according to established norms and principles.

The benefits of our strong trilateral relationship are crystal clear. Last month, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken met with his Korean and Japanese counterparts in Seoul and agreed to expand cooperation even further in response to North Korea's provocations and destabilizing behavior.

All three countries have agreed to renew efforts to build upon the Trilateral Information Sharing Arrangement that's aimed at countering the nuclear and missile threats posed by North Korea. In addition to working more closely to strengthen sanctions, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. will shine an intense light on North Korea's deplorable human rights violations.

Prime Minister Abe has been known to say that South Korea is Japan's most important neighbor -- evolving cooperative ties between the two countries and bringing all our capabilities together magnifies our impact far beyond the immediate region. A trilateral partnership is a force multiplier for good around the world, and together with Seoul and Tokyo, we're having an impact on global challenges facing the world today... from combating ISIL and other terrorist organizations, to countering WMD proliferation.

Working trilaterally, we can bolster our collective defense against North Korean provocations, and uphold the principles of international law and unimpeded lawful commerce -- the catalysts that bring prosperity to South Korea, Japan, the United States and every other nation in the global economy.

Folks, being in places like this where smart people congregate always reminds me of the wise Greek philosopher Socrates -- he talked too much... and his friends poisoned him.

Since I don't want any hemlock sent in my direction, let me close my formal remarks with this final thought.

Forged on the battlefield and through the blood we shed together on the Peninsula seven decades ago, South Korea and the United States have an enduring partnership.

America and the Republic of Korea are strong because of those who have served before, those who serve now, and those who will serve tomorrow -- an unbroken chain, linking our citizens, generation to generation.

Our strength also comes from informed citizens -- people like you -- who are aware of the challenges, opportunities, dangers we face in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

So on behalf of PACOM's Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Coastguardsmen, and D.O.D. civilians, thank you for helping us to ensure that America remains the world's strongest force for good.

May God bless the Republic of Korea. May God bless the United States of America, and may God keep our alliance strong and prosperous.


------------


Following is a transcription by David Lee, ICAS Intern, of the recording of Admiral Harris' presentation and Q & A


[0:00:00]

Synja Kim: Good afternoon, and welcome everyone. Iíd like to thank everyone for coming out today for the ICAS Spring Symposium 2016. At our last Symposiums in February and April [unintelligible] North Koreaís 4 missile tests were covered [unintelligible] . And we also discussed the growing political dynamics between China and the US involving North Korea [unintelligible] . Today weíll continue to deliberate [unintelligible] first as a panel followed by a Q&A from our speakers and the audience. So our discussants are all ICAS fellows. Joseph Bosco to my left, senior associate CSIS, Peter Huessey, President of GeoStrategic Analysis and Senior Consultant to Mitchell Institute, David Maxwell, Associate Director of Security Studies Program Georgetown University, and Larry Nikzch, Senior Associate CSIS.

Now I will introduce our first speaker. It is my great pleasure to introduce Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command. He will address the Asia-Pacific Theatre and US National Security challenges. Admiral Harris needs no introduction, but Iíll present you with a shorter version today so that he can maximize his time today. [unintelligible] So just briefly, Admiral Harris [unintelligible] with his post graduate focusing on East-Asia security at Harvard, Georgetown, Oxford, and MIT. And he has served in every geographic combatant command region. Rising quickly from assistant to Chairman of the Joint Staff in 2011, the Admiral took command of the US Pacific Fleet in 2013. In May 2015, he became the highest ranking first Asian American, assuming command of the US Pacific Command, responsible for all military operations in the region, from California to the Indian Ocean. [unintelligible] This vision, as we are all keenly aware, poses [unintelligible] The good news is that under the leadership of Admiral Harris, the US Pacific Command is committed to stability, peace, and security in the region and partnership and military effectiveness. So Admiral Harris, we thank you for your dedication and service to this country and the safety of all the lives around the world. Letís welcome Admiral Harris.



[Applause]



[0:04:30]

Admiral Harris: Thank you, Synja for that wonderful introduction. And Iíll make the comment that there are 3000 languages in the Asia-Pacific region, and I speak only one. And I do that with a southern accent. So if you need help with translation [unintelligible] Maybe someone who lives along a border state can help you here. So thanks for that introduction, and itís great for me to be here with everyone today. I appreciate the invitation. [unintelligible] So let me just say thank you all for being here.

[0:05:20]

So Iím honored to be in your company so that I can convey how important the US/Republic of Korea alliance is to me, both personally and professionally. Itís a historical fact that my father, a Tennessee native, served in the Navy throughout World War II and the Korean War before retiring in 1958. My dad spent a lot of time in Korea, mostly in Chinhae with the Korean Navy, and from his stories, I gained a deep appreciation for the Korean culture at an early age. Engagements like this and many visits to the Peninsula during my military career have only deepened that admiration. So truly, thanks for the opportunity to share my thoughts with you today.

[0:05:58]

Long-winded speakers in this town are as common as traffic jams Ė both are to be avoided at all costs. So Iíll keep my remarks short. Folks, Iím thrilled to join my friends from ICAS, an organization with the noble motto of ďadvancing humanity, liberty, peace and security among all nations and all people.Ē For five decades, ICAS has been dedicated to pursuing peace and prosperity with an emphasis on multilateral relations between the United States and Indo-Asia- Pacific nations Ė that sounds like US Pacific Command! Youíve supported the deep thinkers and big ideas that have helped to shape Americaís relationships with key allies and partners in the region. I appreciate your support for the rules-based security architecture that has served the Indo-Asia-Pacific so well for so long. As the region faces a multitude of threats, your ideas and discussions are more important than ever.

[0:07:02]

Bilateral relationships, like Americaís ironclad alliance with South Korea, have dominated our regional discussion for many years. But recently, US Pacific Command has been working to expand our relationship networks into trilaterals, quadrilaterals, and multilaterals. So one idea that Iíd like to discuss with you today is my priority to advance trilateral cooperation between South Korea, Japan, and the US. I strongly believe that constructive relations between Japan and South Korea, our key treaty allies in Northeast Asia, help to advance peace and prosperity throughout the entire region. Our three countries share so much in common: democracy, free markets, a commitment to human rights, and common security threats. We are stronger together and I believe there is much we can achieve with closer cooperation.

[0:08:04]

But before discussing the importance of this vital trilateral framework, Iíd like to provide a brief overview of US Pacific Command, or PACOM as we call it. PACOM is Americaís oldest and largest military combatant command. Headquartered in Hawaii, it's made up of nearly 400,000 personnel -- Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Department of Defense civilians -- who defend American interests over half the Earth: from Hollywood to Bollywood... from penguins to polar bears. PACOM is responsible for all U.S. military operations in the vast Indo-Asia-Pacific. About 20 percent of the entire U.S. military is assigned to PACOM, the most assigned forces of any combatant command. Our motto is "be ready to fight tonight." One of our sub-unified commands, U.S. Forces Korea, epitomizes this commitment. Led by my good friend General Vince Brooks, the 28,500 American Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen of U.S. Forces Korea help maintain security and stability on the Peninsula.

[0:09:12]

Now, when referring to our area of operation, I prefer using the term Indo-Asia-Pacific, as this more accurately captures the fact that the Indian and Pacific Oceans are the economic lifeblood that links India, Australia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia, Oceania, South America and North America. Oceans that once were physical and psychological barriers that kept us apart are now maritime super highways that bring us together as one global economy. My boss -- Secretary of Defense Ash Carter -- has said that "trade requires safe passage... investment requires stability... innovation requires freedom... and each of these requires security." Clearly, security and stability fuel prosperity. One of the slides I often show to those who visit our Hawaii headquarters is a picture of the Han River in 1953, which is basically a blank canvas... and then I show a picture of the same area today that depicts the economically vibrant city of Seoul. I use this picture along with images of other cities throughout Asia to help demonstrate how prosperity and security are inextricably linked -- and how the current rules-based international order has set the conditions for the economic rise of many Asian nations.

[0:10:39]

Secretary Carter has also called the Indo-Asia Pacific the single most consequential region for America's future. Indeed, Asia is now the economic center of gravity for the global economy. And this helps explain why President Obama initiated our strategic Rebalance to the Indo-Asia- Pacific back in 2011. The Rebalance is an intentional effort based on a strategy of collaboration and cooperation. But the Rebalance is not just a security-or defense-centered policy, it's a whole of government effort: diplomatic political, and especially economic. The collective respect for, and adherence to, international rules and norms by like-minded nations have now produced the longest era of peace and prosperity in modern history. In my opinion, this has been made possible by a carefully crafted security architecture in the region. This structure has been supported by 7 decades of U.S.-forward military presence and underpinned by America's five bilateral security alliances with Australia, the Philippines, Thailand... and Japan and South Korea. And thanks to our whole-of-government Rebalance, the regional security architecture has been nourished by our growing partnerships with nations like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, Bangladesh... and Mongolia -- a nation I look forward to visiting next week.

[0:12:07]

Despite the good news on how our Rebalance has led to greater cooperation and stability in the region, there are also threats -- and no threat is more dangerous than North Korea. Of course, I don't need to remind the members of ICAS about this. But I will note the irony in the fact that, as we began the Rebalance, Kim Jong Un assumed power following his father's death in December 2011. The current regime demonstrates a more aggressive and unpredictable North Korea. KJU exercises complete dominion over his citizens in a brutal fashion including purges and public executions. He now flagrantly rejects United Nations Security Council Resolutions condemning his nuclear aspirations and ballistic missile-related activities. Additionally, he recently threatened pre-emptive nuclear strikes against the United States and other countries in the region. Folks, make no mistake -- North Korea is on a quest for nuclear weapons, a means to miniaturize them, and the ways to deliver them intercontinentally. As we speak, North Korea has hundreds of thousands of rockets within range of Seoul, posing a real threat to American troops and their families, Republic of Korea citizens, and the region. This is a menace to both our Korean and Japanese allies.

[0:13:35]

The best way to effectively counter North Korea's aggression is through credible combat power, unrelenting resolve in the face of provocations, and sustained partnerships with our closest allies. This is a big reason why I'm doing everything possible to encourage trilateral cooperation with Japan and the Republic of Korea. The current level of military cooperation between Japan, South Korea and the United States is good, but I'd like it to get better. The South Korean and Japanese governments recently took a big step forward by reaching an agreement surrounding the "comfort women" issue. I applaud the leaders of both countries for having the courage and vision to settle this difficult historical issue... and I agree with President Park's observation that it was "especially meaningful" to reach such an agreement coincident with the 50th anniversary of normalized diplomatic relations between Seoul and Tokyo. Today, South Korea, Japan and the United States share a desire to lend their resources and incredible human talent to the task of improving the well-being of citizens around the globe. Earlier this spring, President Park, Prime Minister Abe, and President Obama met in Washington, D.C. to reaffirm a common vision for a rules-based order at the heart of the Indo-Asia-Pacific, where all countries -- regardless of size -- act according to established norms and principles. The benefits of our strong trilateral relationship are crystal clear. Last month, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken met with his Korean and Japanese counterparts in Seoul and agreed to expand cooperation even further in response to North Korea's provocations and destabilizing behavior. All three countries have agreed to renew efforts to build upon the Trilateral Information Sharing Arrangement that's aimed at countering the nuclear and missile threats posed by North Korea. In addition to working more closely to strengthen sanctions, South Korea, Japan and the U.S. will shine an intense light on North Korea's deplorable human rights violations.

[0:15:28]

Prime Minister Abe has been known to say that South Korea is Japan's most important neighbor -- evolving cooperative ties between the two countries and bringing all our capabilities together magnifies our impact far beyond the immediate region. A trilateral partnership is a force multiplier for good around the world, and together with Seoul and Tokyo, we're having an impact on global challenges facing the world today... from combating ISIL and other terrorist organizations, to countering WMD proliferation. Working trilaterally, we can bolster our collective defense against North Korean provocations, and uphold the principles of international law and unimpeded lawful commerce -- the catalysts that bring prosperity to South Korea, Japan, the United States and every other nation in the global economy.

[0:16:22]

Folks, being in places like this where smart people congregate always reminds me of the wise Greek philosopher Socrates -- he talked too much... and his friends poisoned him. Since I don't want any hemlock sent in my direction, let me close my formal remarks with this final thought. Forged on the battlefield and through the blood we shed together on the Peninsula seven decades ago, South Korea and the United States have an enduring partnership.

[0:16:48]

America and the Republic of Korea are strong because of those who have served before, those who serve now, and those who will serve tomorrow -- an unbroken chain, linking our citizens, generation to generation. Our strength also comes from informed citizens -- people like you -- who are aware of the challenges, opportunities, dangers we face in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. So on behalf of PACOM's Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Coastguardsmen, and D.O.D. civilians, thank you for helping us to ensure that America remains the world's strongest force for good. May God bless the Republic of Korea. May God bless the United States of America, and may God keep our alliance strong and prosperous. Thank you very much.

[0:17:35]



[Applause]



[0:17:41]

Admiral Harris: I donít have a lot of time unfortunately. I have a hard stop here. But before I go thereís some time for some questions and the esteemed panel discuss.

Moderator: Would you like to stand up there or be seated?

Admiral Harris: Iíll be seated. But the esteemed panel [unintelligible]

Moderator: David?

[0:18:08]

David Maxwell: Thank you, sir. I really appreciate your remarks. Iíd just like you to expand on the trilateral relationship. Iíve heard announcements that there will be a joint missile defense exercise between Japan, Korea, and the United States. I was wondering with the advent of UNCR 2270, as well as our established proliferation security initiative, if you could talk about the synchronization of our maritime operations with Japan and South Korea, focusing on counter-proliferation.

[0:18:42]

Admiral Harris: Yeah so I think the PSI is one of the best things we have going for us. Itís been around since the early 2000s. I was involved in it a little bit at the beginning of it [unintelligible] I think itís an important entity, if you will. And weíre getting more and more by more and more countries. I think Malaysia is the most recent to join in. Iím excited by it. And I think itís one of the keys to going back to the proliferation threat. And I would use the term the Great Proliferator as a way to describe North Korea in this capacity of weapons of mass destruction.

[0:19:36]

I think that part of this trilateral relationship that weíre working on at PACOM [unintelligible] to be able to continue to pressure North Korea in the realm of both proliferation and developmental aspectsÖ

[0:19:59]

Moderator: Thank you, Dave. Joe?

[0:20:09]

Joseph Bosco: Admiral, itís a great honor to participate in the program with you. As a former West PAC sailor, I really admire the way that you and the navy handle and respond [unintelligible] . I hope to make a comment on the South China Sea situation. Well my concern is that the administrationís policy seems to be limiting PACOMís operation capacity. There is no indication that the sporadic and minimalist operations conducted so far have dissuaded or deterred China from its expansionist activities. And thatís not surprising since our [unintelligible] challenge only Chinaís notification demand, not its underlying claim of the territories and seas. Just as Chinese warships sail within 12 miles of Alaska, as if US ships sail within 12 miles of Chinaís coast. You could make the argument that our limited operations are actually counterproductive, by confirming Chinaís sovereignty claims. Each time we [unintelligible] we expand Chinaís control over the South China Sea, and shrink its international waters from the use of other nations. By scaling that normal operation [unintelligible] high seas, contrary to the administrationís pledges, I believe we encourage China to keep pressing its advantage. In any event, this is a comment on US policy not performing for the US navy. So thanks again for your service.

[0:21:36]

Admiral Harris: Thank you. Iím not sure thereís a question in there so Iíll just thank you for the comment.

[0:21:42]

Moderator: Thank you. Larry?

[0:21:47]

Larry Niksch: Thank you very much Admiral Harris. A question about Japanís role in contingency defense planning for the Korean peninsula. I know that defense planning, especially regarding North Korea, is a constant ongoing process within the American military. Plans are constantly reviewed, revised, etc. etc. in terms of how we would fight a military conflict with North Korea. Japan now is embarking on the new policy of corrective self-defense under Prime Minister Abe, and as you know they have certainly expanded, as Joeís question may allude to, Japanese military activities in the South China Sea, that we are fully supportive of. With a heightened Japanese military role and potential for employment of military forces regionally by Prime Minister Abe, in the defense planning process, is the US military going to be taking a potential Japanese role in defense planning regarding North Korea to a greater extent than we have in the past when there have been much more prescribed limits on Japanese defense policy?

[0:23:30]

Admiral Harris: So let me begin by responding that Iím grateful to Japanís new defense guidelines in the peace and security legislation, which I think will bring our close alliance even closer. With regard to Japanís activities and patrols in the South China Sea, I welcome them just as I welcome freedom of navigation, again Joeís earlier issue, by all countries in the regions to continue to do so in the South China Sea and elsewhere. Regarding our contingency planning for operations on the peninsula with regard to Japan, Iím going to defer that, simply because Iím not going to get into our war planning. And I would just say that you ask Japan if they would, because I choose not to because it does involveÖ things like this, itís just best left unsaid right now. So thanks.

[0:24:46]

Moderator: Peter?

[0:24:47]

Peter Huessey: Thank you very much. Iím Peter HuesseyÖ Admiral thank you for your thoughts. I have a special interest in Japan and Korea as I went to college in both countries. So Korea and Japan are family. I have very short questions. What is the value of THADD if deployed not just in Korea but in the region? Second, to what extent is the naval presence in that area threatened by North Korean EMP capabilities, let alone EMP capability over [unintelligible] ? And then you mentioned PSI, which I have a particular interest in. How would you improve it? Are there specifics that you might think of? Because I agree with you, itís an extraordinary solution to some of our problems. So those are the questions that I have.

[0:25:48]

Admiral Harris; So for the first question on THADD, I think THADD is of particular utility in areas like the Korean peninsula, and Iím pleased that both the United States and South Korea are engaged in consultations on whether to bring it to the peninsula or not. That decision will be an alliance decision. It wonít be an American decision or a Korean decision. But itíll be an alliance decision and consultations are ongoing now, so thatís a good thing. EMP. The threat of EMP from North Korea or anywhere else is an important one, and itís one that PACOM commanders are looking all the time. To see ways through that, to fight through an EMP blast or something like that. And then on PSI: well the best way to put more teeth into it is to conduct more PSI exercises. And then you evaluate those exercises when you have a real world event, such that you can then exercise PSI operations. But the best way to put more teeth into is to exercise it, in my opinion.

[0:27:20]

Moderator: Thank you, Admiral. Any questions from the floor?

[0:27:31]

Admiral Harris: So Iíve got time for about two questions. And if itís a really long question, then one question.

[Question unintelligible due to background noise]



[28:17]

Admiral Harris: So on the first question about the exercise: Iím excited about the opportunity to conduct this exercise, and I look forward to learning about the capabilities of each of the countries when we work together. So I think thatís the best thing, the most important thing where we get to learn how we can improve. But itís not this exercise thatís the most important, itís the next one. Because the next one will hopefully apply what we learned from this exercise to make our ability to operate together in the ballistic missile defense environment. With regard to the sanctions and how to make them better, I think itís a political issue and it requires a commitment, not only from the US, South Korea, and Japan, but it requires a commitment from all the countries that are effected. So Iím pleased that the new security council resolution is unanimously approved by the security council. So that places an obligation on all countries, [unintelligible] but it places an obligation on all countries to enforce the sanctions and what it means for North Korea.

[0:30:06]

Man 1: Quick question. We talked about the South China Sea. Big issue between us and China. However, the DPRK scenario is going to require some sort of working with China to solve the crisis. How is PACOM managing this kind of growing tension?

[0:30:24]

Admiral Harris: Yeah so Iíve spoken a lot about this. A coincidence is that I spoke about it last evening in Vancouver, yesterday morning I guess in Vancouver. There are more areas of working together with China than there are where weíre working at odds with China, which Iím pleased. There is more constructive work than destructive work. And we collaborate with China across a whole range of activities. But Iíll just speak to the military space. Whether itís operations in the Horn of Africa, whether itís humanitarian assistance in the Philippines, whether itís Pacific [unintelligible] exercise between [unintelligible] China came in 2014 and we invited them back in 2016 later this year. Just in the military operations space, we coordinate well with China. In the military conference building space, we also collaborate. So we have a military consulting working group, which itís after incidents in the area on the high seas. We have to [unintelligible] coordination and communication [unintelligible] , which was an outcome of the Naval Pacific Symposium of 2014, which is signed by China, the United States, and over twenty other countries. And these are positive things. And we should park on those positive things and pat ourselves on the back for being able to accomplish them. But at the same time, China does engage in behavior that I consider provocative and aggressive. And I think that we have to be ready for all outcomes with China from the position of strength. And thatís where PACOM comes into play. We have to operate from a position of strength. So we should cooperate with China wherever we can, but we have to confront China where we must. Some of their activities in the South China Sea fall into that category.

[0:33:12]

Folks Iíve got to go so thank you for your attention. Thank you for your time.

[Applause]



[0:34:04]



[End]



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