Shortly before Harris’ visit, North Korea launch out two ballistics rocket on September 25 and 28.
Harris’ visit to the demilitarized zone on the South-North Korean border is expected to anger North Korea. When U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the region in August, North Korea criticized her as “the worst destroyer of international peace.”
Harris visited the demilitarized zone on the South-North Korean border and criticized Pyongyang’s weapons program.
At an observation post on a steep hilltop looking towards Korean today, Vice President America Kamala Harris staring through binoculars, as American soldiers and South Korea indicate characteristics, including defense systems, in the area. “It’s close,” she said.
Harris also visited the Panmunjom Truce Village, where former U.S. president Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in 2019, and spoke with U.S. troops at the Joint Security Area.
On the North Korean side, soldiers wearing protective suits can be seen as Harris stands at the demarcation line between the two countries.
Speaking at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Harris said U.S. and South Korean troops are “standing shoulder to shoulder to maintain the security and stability of this region.”
The vice president reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to South Korea’s defense as “sustainable,” adding that the two countries have coordinated their response to the growing threat posed by North Korea’s weapons program.
“We want the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but are ready to deal with any eventuality,” she said.
During an 85-minute meeting at President Yoon Suk-yeol’s office in Seoul earlier in the day, Harris and Yoon jointly expressed concerns about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
“President Yoon and Vice President Harris express serious concerns about North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches, as well as its legitimization of its nuclear force policy,” the president’s deputy spokesman, Lee Jae-myoung, said, noting Harris reaffirmed her U.S. commitment to defending South Korea.
The two sides also agreed to plan Yoon’s visit to the U.S. next year to commemorate the alliance’s 70th anniversary.