Hawaii News Admiral’s ‘all options’ remark about N. Korea aired overseas By William Cole April 19, 2012 Mahalo for supporting Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Enjoy this free story! Read more Mahalo for reading the Honolulu Star-Advertiser! You're reading a premium story. Read the full story with our Print & Digital Subscription. Subscribe Now Read this story for free: Watch an ad or complete a survey Log In Already a subscriber? Log in now to continue reading this story. Activate Digital Account Print subscriber but without online access? Activate your Digital Account now. The head of U.S. Pacific Command, asked about the possibility of a "surgical strike" on North Korean nuclear facilities, said Tuesday that it would not be "appropriate for me to comment on how we pursue any future military operations." But Adm. Samuel Locklear also said, "I can tell you that with the alliance, that we are continually looking at all options." In the political environment that a Hawaii-based Asia expert characterized as "supercharged" after North Korea’s failed rocket launch, and with worries over a new nuclear test, Locklear’s comment was widely reported, and in some cases altered by some South Korean media to the point that U.S. Forces Korea issued a clarification the same day on Locklear’s behalf. "Numerous reports following the event have mischaracterized his comments regarding U.S. response to possible future provocation of a nuclear test by North Korea, speculating that the U.S. is considering specific responses," the statement said. Locklear’s comments came in response to a question asked by a South Korean journalist, and related to whether the U.S. would respond to a North Korean nuclear test with a "surgical strike" as some media reported the U.S. had considered in 1994. Agence France Presse reported in 2000 that Kim Young-sam, president of South Korea in 1994, had stopped President Bill Clinton from launching an airstrike against the North’s nuclear facilities — with Kim arguing with Clinton on the phone for 32 minutes. According to the news outlet, a U.S. aircraft carrier was close enough to strike North Korea’s nuclear facilities at Yongbyon. Locklear, who took over as commander of U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith on March 9, made his comments during a meeting with reporters at U.S. Forces Korea headquarters. He had previously stopped in Japan. Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Pacific Forum Center for Strategic and International Studies in Honolulu, said Locklear’s comment was a "standard response" for military commanders, but added that one of the reasons it might have received so much attention is "what we are looking at conceivably is that there are potential targets in real time, right now" in North Korea. "The fact is, we’re in a supercharged political environment right now in Northeast Asia on the Korean peninsula because of all of the events of last week, so everyone’s going to be increasingly sensitive," Glosserman said. Still, he called Locklear’s language "boilerplate." "In every context, we take no options off the table both to warn adversaries that we maintain the capability and to assure our allies that we’re there to protect them if need be," he said. Previous Story Publishing industry angry that Pulitzers snubbed fiction Next Story Changes afoot to TheBus routes 'not a done deal'