Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., signs a guest book prior to an office call with Adm. Choi Yoon-hee, right, chairman of the Republic of Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff, in Seoul Nov. 21. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns)

SEOUL, Republic of Korea - Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, visited South Korea Nov. 21-22, meeting with senior military and government leaders to reaffirm the U.S. Navy's commitment to the alliance with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the ongoing U.S. rebalance to the Pacific.

During the two-day visit, Harris met with leaders from both the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, to include The Honorable Sung Kim, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea; Gen. Curtis M. Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. Forces Korea; Mr. Kim, Kwan-jin, ROK Minister of Defense; Adm. Choi, Yoon-hee, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Adm. Hwang, Ki chul, chief of Naval Operations to discuss the strength of the alliance between the U.S. and ROK.

"The prosperity enjoyed by South Korea and the United States can be directly attributed to our strong alliance," Harris said. "Today, this alliance is stronger than ever. My priority is to support our alliance with the right U.S. Navy assets at the right time, to deter aggression, and if required, to fight when called upon."

Harris also emphasized to ROK leaders that strong alliances bring stability to Northeast Asia, which is directly in line with the intent of the U.S. rebalance to the Pacific.

"Maintaining stability, peace and prosperity is what the U.S. rebalance to the Pacific is all about," Harris said. "A key component to that policy is strengthening our regional alliances and partnerships. I am committed to deepening the maritime element of our defense relationships with all of our regional allies and partners."

Harris also thanked the people of the ROK for their support of U.S. Navy forces who are forward deployed on the Korean peninsula.

"Thanks to the wonderful support we get from the people of South Korea, the U.S. Pacific Fleet can remain forward-deployed," said Harris. "This allows the U.S. Navy to be where it matters, when it matters."

Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Korea is the regional commander for the U.S. Navy in the Republic of Korea and provides expertise on naval matters to area military commanders, including the Commander for the United Nations Command, the Combined Forces Command, and Commander, U.S. Forces Korea.

Adm. Harris presents a wreath at the Second YeonPyeong Naval Battle Monument in Pyeongtaek in honor of the six Republic of Korea Navy Sailors who lost their lives during an engagement with two North Korean patrol boats in 2002. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns)
Adm. Harris speaks with Kim Kwan-Jin, Korea Minister of National Defense, during an office call in Seoul, Nov. 22. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns)
In Pyeongtaek, Adm. Harris and Rear Adm. Park Sung-bae, commander, Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy Second Fleet, look down at the ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772), which was sunk by a North Korean torpedo on March 26, 2010. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joshua Bryce Bruns)