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Strengthening alliance with S. Korea key testament to Obama's 'rebalance' to Asia policy: White House

All Headlines 05:13 October 27, 2016

WASHINGTON, Oct. 26 (Yonhap) -- Strengthening the alliance with South Korea and putting more military resources in the region to counter threats from North Korea were among key achievements of President Barack Obama's "rebalance to Asia" policy, the White House said Wednesday.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest made the case in response to a question whether Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's negative remarks about the alliance with the U.S. undermines Obama's initiative for greater influence in the Asia-Pacific region.

"The United States has made a lot of important progress in strengthening our alliances throughout the Asian-Pacific, mobilizing resources that indicate our long-term commitment to that region of the world," Earnest said at a regular briefing.

When Obama took office, the notion that the U.S. is a Pacific power was in doubt, but it's not any more, he said.

That is a testament to the "progress that we have made in shoring up, strengthening and investing in our alliances with South Korea and Japan. The deployment of additional military equipment and personnel to that region of the world to ensure that we're mitigating and countering the threat that emanates from North Korea," he said.

"All of this is a testament to the progress that we've made in enhancing robust U.S. engagement in the Asia-Pacific region," he added.

jschang@yna.co.kr
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