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U.S. Admiral: climate change, not North Korea, biggest threat in the Pacific

This week, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear II, the head of U.S. military forces in the Pacific, told The Boston Globe that climate change was the gravest threat in the region. While such an assessment may be surprising, given North Korea's recent nuclear tests, the U.S. military has long viewed climate change as a massive destabilizing force on global security.

"You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level," Locklear said. "Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17."

Locklear pointed to plans for Tarawa Island in Kiribati to possibly move the entire population as rising sea levels continues to swamp the low-lying island.

Already some people have been relocated from the Carteret Islands due to rising sea levels, and a larger relocation effort is planned.

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