North Korea remains United States' most imminent threat: outgoing Pacific Command chief

FILE PHOTO - Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of the United States Pacific Command, waits for arrival of Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (not in picture) before their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Issei Kato/Pool

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (Reuters) - The outgoing head of U.S. Pacific Command, who is President Donald Trump’s pick to be the ambassador to South Korea, said on Wednesday that North Korea remained the United States’ most imminent threat.

“North Korea remains our most imminent threat. And a nuclear-capable North Korea with missiles that can reach the United States is unacceptable,” Admiral Harry Harris said in a change-of-command speech.

“Without focused involvement and engagement by the United States, and our allies and partners, China will realize its dream of hegemony in Asia. We should cooperate with Beijing where we can but stand ready to confront them where we must,” Harris added.

Reporting by Idrees Ali and Phil Stewart; editing by Jonathan Oatis