Gen. Paul Hester, commander of Pacific Air Forces, believes North Korea can be persuaded to stop developing nuclear weapons, according to Associated Press news service. Hester told AP that “there are many opportunities to change actions by a country and a regime without the demise of that regime. … Can [Kim Jong Il] change? I suspect that yes, he could change. Whether he would change is yet another question.” Hester spoke with AP during a visit to Harvard University on Oct. 17.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.