U.S. Readiness in Korea Important to Diplomacy, Nominee Tells Senate Panel

The North Korean military remains dangerous, and U.S., South Korean and allied forces on the Korean Peninsula “should remain clear-eyed about the situation on the ground and allow diplomacy to continue to work,” President Donald J. Trump’s nominee to be the next commander of U.S. forces in Korea told the Senate Armed Services Committee at his confirmation hearing today.

Army Gen. Robert B. Abrams, now the commander of U.S. Army Forces Command,  is the president’s nominee to replace Army Gen. Vincent K. Brooks as the commander of the United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command and U.S. Forces Korea.

If confirmed, Abrams would go to a peninsula in a state of flux. The historic meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un changed the calculus, and this is a critical time. What happens in North Korea – will they indeed denuclearize – affects South Korea, Japan, China and all of Northeast Asia.

“The strategic importance of the Pacific region has grown over the past decade,” Abrams said. “The foundation for success in Northeast Asia is largely due to the extraordinary relationships we have built over time with United Nations sending states and our Indo-Pacific neighbors, particularly Japan and the Republic of Korea.”

Working with allies is key to what happens on the peninsula, and…

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