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NEWS | May 19, 2021

General Says U.S.-South Korea Alliance Is Ironclad

By xxxDAVID VERGUN DOD NEWS

WASHINGTON -- The South Korea-U.S. alliance remains the cornerstone of stability and security in Northeast Asia. That partnership continues to grow through economic cooperation, mitigating threats to regional stability and fulfilling commitments to allies and partners in the region, the general nominated to lead the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/U.S. Forces Korea said.

Army Gen. Paul J. LaCamera testified today at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

"This remains a critical period in Northeast Asia and in Korea as we face persistent challenges with the development of nuclear and advanced missile technical systems, cyber capabilities, asymmetric and military technologies," he told the Senators.

LaCamera said he's aware of the challenges involved with competition and shaping the environment to prevent crises from escalating into conflicts. "I recognize the need to maintain readiness not just for conflict but for competition and to compete daily."

Being ready to fight tonight means maintaining capability and creating time and space to enable the diplomatic process, preserving options for leaders, he said.

"I'm aware of the most sacred trust given to me to prepare our service members to fight and win on the most dangerous piece of ground, the last 100 meters," he said.

The foundations for success are a strong and effective integrated deterrence posture that brings to bear the unique capabilities and capacity of the entire joint, interagency and combined community, he said.

If confirmed, LaCamera said he intends to capitalize on the trust built with South Korean and other senior military leaders of allies and partners in the region while he was the commander of U.S. Army Pacific.

"As my predecessors have done, I endorse the four long-standing United Nations Command Combined Forces Command and the United States Korea priorities, which are sustaining and strengthening the alliance, maintaining the armistice, transforming the alliance and sustaining the force," he said.

These priorities remain relevant, but if confirmed, as any incoming commander does, LaCamera said he will make adjustments based on new facts, changes in the environment, input and guidance from leadership, South Korea partners and his own observations to keep the alliance ironclad.
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