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NEWS | Nov. 22, 2013

U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander visits ROK

By LT Arlo Abrahamson, Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea Public Affairs

The Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr. visited South Korea Nov 21-22 where he met with senior military and government leaders to reaffirm the U.S. Navy’s commitment to the alliance with the Republic of Korea and the ongoing U.S. rebalance to the Pacific.   

During the two day visit, Harris met with a host of leaders from both the U.S. and the Republic of Korea to include U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim, Commander of U.S. Forces Korea, Gen Curtis M. Scaparrotti, along with the Republic of Korea Minister of Defense Mr. Kim, Kwan-jin, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Choi, Yoon-hee, and the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Hwang, Ki chul. 

“The prosperity enjoyed by South Korea and the United States can be directly attributed to our strong alliance,” said Harris, speaking of his engagements with senior leaders in Korea.   “Today, this alliance is stronger than ever.  My priority is to support our alliance with the right U.S. Navy assets at the right time, to deter aggression, and if required, to fight when called upon.”

Harris also emphasized to Republic of Korea leaders that strong alliances bring stability to Northeast Asia, which is directly in line with the intent of the U.S. rebalance to the Pacific.  

“Maintaining stability, peace and prosperity is what the U.S. rebalance to the Pacific is all about,” said Harris.  “A key component to that policy is strengthening our regional alliances and partnerships.  I am committed to deepening the maritime element of our defense relationships with all of our regional allies and partners.”                          

Harris also thanked the people of the Republic of Korea for their support of U.S. Navy forces who are forward deployed on the Korean peninsula.

“Thanks to the wonderful support we get from the people of South Korea, the U.S. Pacific Fleet can remain forward-deployed,” said Harris.  “This allows the U.S. Navy to be where it matters, when it matters.”

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander for the United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.

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