WASHINGTON – The military officer charged with monitoring North Korea at a time when the rogue nation is threatening to unleash missile attacks worldwide has used a Senate hearing to double down on his claim that it is global warming that is the real danger.
Navy Adm. Samuel Locklear III originally caused a stir just weeks ago when in a speech to scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities in Cambridge, Mass., he said the climate change factor should be the focus of American concern.
At today’s hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee he defended his assessment that global warming is the greatest threat to security in that part of the world.
According to the Boston Globe, Locklear said earlier, “significant upheaval related to the warming planet … 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.”
At today’s hearing, Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., challenged him, and the admiral doubled down.
Locklear said 70 percent of the world’s expected growth will be in East and South Asia and it “will be moving along the coastal centers” it serves as a possible form of regional destabilizing via population displacement because of rising oceans.
But Inhofe pointed out that scientists disagree with the notion that the climate is changing. He furthermore said that such a belief is one that is held by “environmentalist extremists” who “do not believe in” having a large military.
He said he “cannot recall a time where the world was more dangerous” and Barack Obama’s military cuts are naïve and put the U.S. forces “at risk.”
The idea of anthropological climate change has been the focus of many studies and reports in recent years. In 2007, WND reported that a study released by the Danish National Space Center suggested that “the sun still appears to be the main agent in global climate change” rather than by man.
Furthermore, last week WND reported that the scientific journal Science published a report showing dramatic increases in global temperature in the 20th century. While it was touted as a major study, it has now come under scrutiny after scientists involved “quietly admitted that surging temperatures can’t be supported by their data.”
Inhofe himself has been a leading voice challenging the vast assumptions on anthropological climate change. On a related topic, in 2012 Inhofe spoke to WND, saying that “green extremists” are jeopardizing America’s defense by devoting scarce resources to alternative energy, rather than defense development.
Locklear is the chief of the U.S. Pacific Command.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Locklear today that China is not behaving as a global power should – in that it has not exhibited a concerted effort to restrain North Korea. His comments suggested China is the only power that could pull the reins on North Korea.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., echoed a similar concern, stating, “We must be clear with China as to what our expectations are.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pressed Locklear on the links between China and the dependant North Korea.
“When you get to the bottom of a North Korean problem you have to go back to China,” Graham said, adding that China has a much larger plan to counter American interests around the world.
Graham asked Locklear to identify China as “a friend or foe” but the admiral could not give a direct answer, only saying that China was a nation that the United States must “build a relationship with.”
WND’s Michael Maloof has presented a very different perspective on the Sino-North Korean alliance, saying some “observers believe that China’s influence over North Korea has been overstated.”
He described the struggling relationship between China and North Korea as he reported “the concern now is that Beijing is having little or no success in reining in the bellicose 28-year old leader” and that “Westerners who recently have visited Beijing say the Chinese leadership is frustrated with Kim’s dismissal of advice to adhere to international demands.”
Graham’s assertions may be correct though, as according to AFP, China may have violated U.N. Security Council sanctions by providing North Korea with at least six mobile launchers that have been used in North Korea’s 2006 and 2009 long-range missile tests and would be used for any future missile launch.
Graham advocated in the hearing for a more direct relationship with China as a means to resolve the tensions and human rights violations in the region, arguing that the world needs a “more mature” China.
Inhofe also looked at the larger geopolitical game with China, noting globally where America withdraws, China grows. He noted specifically in Africa where the United States is “creating voids” and that “any time we have a void in Africa, China takes its place.”
The admiral suggests the solution to this is for Congress to provide more “resources” to the region to contain China.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, spoke on the Iranian-North Korean relationship for nuclear proliferation, asking how to stop North Korea from using submarines to transport nuclear weapons material to Iran.
The admiral also confirmed, under questioning from Graham, that the “politics have changed in South Korea” where no longer South Korea will show “restraint” if North Korea was to attack South Korean interests.
As tensions rise, nations have begun to reassert their military power as a means to prepare for any North Korean aggression.
According to CNN, Japan deployed three missile defense systems on Tuesday in response to the North Korean threat. In recent years, Japan has begun to discuss more seriously abandoning its post-World War II restrains and develop nuclear weapons as a deterrent to North Korea’s growing threat.
In a 2011 interview with The Independent, then nationalist Tokyo mayor Shintaro Ishihara advocated that Japan acquire nuclear weapons saying, “All our enemies: China, North Korea and Russia – all close neighbors – have nuclear weapons. Is there another country in the world in a similar situation?”
More recently, in response to the growing tensions, according to the Washington Free Beacon, the People’s Liberation Army spent all of last week and this week moving troops and tanks to the city of Daqing, Dandong, and the border city of Shenyang along the North Korean border.