U.S. military officials say a strong U.S.-South Korea alliance is crucial in deterring aggression from North Korea and preserving security and stability.
Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, told American Forces Press Service the uncertain impact of North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong Un, coupled with the country's pursuit of nuclear weapons against, continue to create tension and unstable conditions on the Korean Peninsula.
"If there is anything that keeps me awake at night, it's that particular situation," Locklear said. "We have to ensure that we maintain as much of a stable environment on the Korean Peninsula as we can."
Locklear called the United States' commitment to an alliance with the South is "unwaverable."
"Should the North Korean leadership choose to start abiding by its international obligations, to cease provocations, this would be a preferred path," Locklear told reporters in the South Korean capital of Seoul. "But if further provocations is the path that they would continue to pursue, then the challenge for us is to ensure that our alliance remains strong, that we work closely together to monitor and share information, and that we have the proper procedures in place ... [so] the security of the alliance is ensured."
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