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US Army General LaCamera to take office as new USFK commander in July

US Army General Paul LaCamera will take office as the commander of United States Forces Korea (USFK) in early July, replacing US Army General Robert Abrams, who has held the position since November 2018.

Gen LaCamera, who had been serving as commander of US Army Pacific since November 2019, will take over the 28,500-strong USFK in a change of command ceremony scheduled for 2 July at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, South Korean media quoted USFK as saying.

He will also head the United Nations Command and the ROK-US Combined Forces Command.

During his confirmation hearing before the US Senate Armed Services Committee on 18 May, Gen LaCamera referred to the current situation on the Korean Peninsula as “stable” and the level of tension as “low”, especially along the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and the Northern Limit Line, the latter of which is the de facto maritime border between North and South Korea.

However, he said that North Korea's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programme, its asymmetric capabilities (including cyber capabilities), and its sizeable conventional military force “remain a significant threat” to South Korea, the United States, and allied forces in the region.

The general also said that he would look to continue US operations, activities, and investments along three lines of effort. Referring to the first one, he said that any improvements in force posture should focus on early warning and missile defence “as we work closely with allies to defend, disrupt, and destroy North Korean missiles as early in the kill-web as possible”. To do so, the alliance must have the ability to neutralise North Korean missile threats before launch, and present a layered, effective defence of upper and lower-tier anti-missile capabilities during an attack.

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