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Pompeo says Asia allies' response to China threat 'varies'

All Headlines 06:03 June 14, 2019

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Yonhap) -- The response of Asian allies, including South Korea, to China's growing security threat "varies," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said.

The remark comes at a delicate time for South Korea, which is striving to balance its security alliance with the U.S. with its strategic partnership with China.

The U.S. has urged its allies and partner nations to stop the use of products made by Chinese telecom titan Huawei due to what it sees as a security risk to their 5G wireless networks.

The U.S. has also indicated it could stop sharing intelligence with countries that continue to use the products.

In an interview Wednesday on The Mark Levin Show, Pompeo was asked whether U.S. allies in Asia are alert to the national security risks posed by China. Among the examples cited were South Korea, Japan and the Philippines.

"It varies," the secretary answered. "I think it's fair to say that the whole world was too slow and a little bit asleep watching as the pot began to boil and the risk began to increase.

"But I do think as the United States has taken serious efforts and we have now done our task of educating and informing others about these risks, I think we're seeing real progress," he continued. "We're seeing real progress of people identifying the risks to their own people in their own countries, and those countries beginning to exert their own sovereignty to protect their countries from the risk that China presents to them."

This graphic image shows U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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