Adm. Scott Swift delivers the keynote address during the International Seapower Symposium in Seoul, Sept. 5. (U.S. Navy/MCSN William Carlisle)

SEOUL, Republic of Korea - Adm. Scott Swift, commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet joined other naval leaders and subject matter experts from around the Asia-Pacific region to discuss the maritime security environment throughout East Asia during the 13th International Seapower Symposium (ISS) in Seoul, Sept. 5.

This year’s theme, “Rapid Changes in East Asia Maritime Security: Outlook and Challenges,” seeks to advance maritime cooperation at regional levels by bringing together the area’s foremost naval and maritime services to openly exchange ideas that will strengthen the safety, security, and prosperity of East Asia.

The symposium, hosted by Adm. Um, Hyun-Sung, the Republic of Korea (ROK) chief of naval operations, featured a key-note address from Swift highlighting the importance of not just the peninsula but he entire Indo-pacific region.

“It is a region dominated and defined by the maritime environment, and in an increasingly interconnected global economy, many nations across the globe have vested interests in resources and trade that transits these waters,” Swift said during his remarks. “It is not surprising that the region attracts geo-strategic interest from states both within and without its regional boundaries, resulting in considerable potential for both competition and cooperation between nations."

In addition to his attendance at the symposium, Swift met with senior ROK military and defense officials including Song, Young-Moo, Minister of Defense, and Gen. Jeong, Kyeong-Doo, chief, Joint Chiefs of Staff, to reaffirm the capability of the U.S. Pacific Fleet to support the U.S.-ROK alliance and effectively prepare for future response options to North Korean aggression.

“Though the Republic of Korea is the closest to the threat, they do not face this aggressor alone. The U.S.-Republic of Korea alliance is ironclad,” said Swift, “The United States remains steadfastly committed to the defense of our allies here on the peninsula.”

The U.S. Pacific Fleet is comprised of nearly 60 percent of all U.S. Navy assets which translates to 200 ships and submarines, 1,180 aircraft; and more than 140,000 Sailors and Civilian Sailors that stand ready to deploy, if called upon.

Rear Adm. Brad Cooper, the commander of U.S. naval Forces, Korea, echoes Swift on the commitment and integration of the U.S.-ROK naval component.

“Our naval partnership grows stronger each day, our collective defense of this nation grows equally stronger,” said Cooper. “Each and every U.S. Navy Sailor, civilian, and family member living and serving in Korea are proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our ROK Navy partners.”

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.