December 5, 2022

Kamala Harris visits DMZ amid tension over North Korean missile launch

2 min read


US Vice President Kamala Harris will visit. Demilitarized Zone which divides North and South Korea on Thursday – a day after Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles into waters off its east coast.

Harris arrived in Asia this week to participate. State funeral Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo, where he also met with South Korean and Australian government leaders.

On Thursday, he met with South Korean President Yoon Seok-yul, with whom he was expected to discuss the threat posed by North Korea, the “importance of peace” in the Taiwan Strait, economic and technological cooperation and other issues. Regional issues will be discussed. white house

During the meeting, Harris called the US-South Korea alliance the “lynchpin” of regional and global security. He also reaffirmed the goal of complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and condemned North Korea’s “provocative nuclear rhetoric” and ballistic missile launches, according to a White House readout.

While in Seoul, Harris also met with a group of female industry leaders before heading to the DMZ – often described as one of the world’s most heavily armed borders.

The DMZ has long been a destination for US presidents and vice presidents on official visits to South Korea, where they have been photographed peering through binoculars into North Korean-controlled territory.

At the DMZ, Harris will meet with service members, as well as receive briefings from U.S. commanders.

Harris’ visit comes a day after North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles from Pyongyang’s Sinan region, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS).

The JCS said the missiles had a range of about 360 km (224 mi), an altitude of 30 km (19 mi) and a speed of about Mach 6 – six times the speed of sound.

“The Army has strengthened its surveillance and vigilance and is maintaining a fully prepared posture in close coordination with the US,” it said.

By CNN’s count, it’s North Korea’s 20th missile launch this year, and follows another launch on Sept. 25 — shortly before Harris arrived in the region.

Speaking aboard the USS Howard. At Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan on Wednesday, Harris criticized North Korea’s recent missile tests as “part of its illegal weapons program that threatens regional stability and violates multiple UN Security Council resolutions.” violates.”

At a news briefing Wednesday, White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre declined to say whether the launch could have been timed to coincide with Harris’ visit, saying the tests were “unusual” for North Korea. Are not.

The US and South Korea have also been conducting joint naval exercises with the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier since Monday.

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