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Mercury Rising in the Pacific

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Posted on Mar 9, 2013
trekkyandy (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What is the gravest long-term security threat to the part of the world that includes China, North Korea and Japan, according to America’s top military officer there?

You may say American economic imperialism. You might not be wrong, but that answer is not what Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear III had in mind.

In an interview at a Cambridge, Mass., hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Tufts and Harvard universities, Locklear said the disruption caused by warming temperatures “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen ... that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’

“People are surprised sometimes,” he added. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Boston Globe:

A larger concern is North Korea, which in recent days has threatened to launch a nuclear weapon against the United States.

Following Pyongyang’s recent long-range missile launch and underground nuclear test, the United Nations Security Council on Thursday voted unanimously to tighten sanctions on the reclusive Communist regime. In response the North Korean government threatened to nullify its nonaggression pacts with South Korea, where the United States maintains a military presence.

Locklear said North Korea’s military has taken recent steps to “visibly increase their levels of readiness” along the demilitarized zone that has separated the two Koreas since the armistice halting the Korean War in 1953. “We are watching very closely what’s going on and we are prepared to defend the alliance as well as our homeland,” he said.

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