A security issue--the North Korean nuclear threat--steals focus of this year’s Pacific Islands Forum
Apia, Samoa- The 48th annual Pacific Islands Forum is convening in Samoa, bringing together 18 leaders of the Pacific for political discussions centering on the theme: The Blue Pacific: Our Sea of Islands-Our Security through sustainable development, management and conservation.
But North Korea's testing of what may have been a hydrogen bomb appears likely to shift the focus from ocean conservation and climate change to immediate security concerns.
Forum Secretary-General Meg Taylor said security issues were first raised during the recent meeting of Forum Foreign Ministers in August, amid the threat of North Korea to Guam, which is also seen as a threat to the wider Pacific region.
“As a regional grouping I think we are ill prepared and we can’t be prepared because we haven’t got the resources or the means of militarization,” Taylor told reporters.
Taylor however said the bigger countries, which are members of the forum, are monitoring the situation very closely.
Palau and U.S. are in discussions of a radar system installation in the island nation given the North Korea threats in Guam.