News / Asia

US Moves Warships to Track North Korean Rocket Launch

Luis Ramirez
The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel Locklear, says the U.S. is moving warships to track a rocket that North Korea expects to launch. 
 
North Korea announced last week that it plans to try again to launch a long-range rocket soon, despite warnings from the United States and others for it not to do so.
 
The U.S. military says it plans to watch closely. The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel Locklear, told reporters at the Pentagon Thursday that a number of ships equipped with advanced ballistic missile systems are being relocated to track the rocket. 
 
“A lot of this is about, number one, is so we understand what's going on," he said. "I'd say, second to that, is so that we understand, if they do violate the Security Council and launch a missile, what kind is it?  What is it about?  Where does it go?  Who does it threaten?  Where does the parts of it that don't go in, that don't go where they want it to go, where do they go?  And what are the consequences of that?”
 
North Korea fired a rocket in April, but it broke apart over the sea shortly after liftoff. 
 
Pyongyang says it is developing the technology for peaceful purposes and says it wants the rockets so it can launch satellites.  However, the United States, Japan, South Korea and others in the region are concerned the North may intend to use the missiles to carry nuclear bombs.
 
Locklear also discussed the U.S. rebalance of forces to the Asia-Pacific region, a key part of the new defense strategy that President Barack Obama unveiled early this year. The plan calls for a majority of the U.S. Navy’s vessels to be moved to the Pacific, and a general shift in focus away from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific.  
 
He said he believes the U.S. military can meet challenges in both regions.  
 
“Yes, the Middle East ... has issues and has historically had issues that will require, I think, U.S. - obviously U.S. leadership, but also will require a certain level of military security over time and we will have to balance that as we look at the size and nature of our force structure and, you know, what we have, the assets that we have to be able to accomplish it. But I'm convinced that we can do both in the long run," he said. 

The Obama administration says the rebalance of forces to the Pacific is not an effort to contain China and its expanding influence in the region. 

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid