U.S. VP Harris set to visit Korean DMZ soon after Kim’s missile test By Reuters


© Reuters. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris holds a bilateral meeting with South Korea’s Key Minister Han Duck-soo (not pictured) in Tokyo, Japan September 27, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool

By Trevor Hunnicutt

TOKYO (Reuters) -U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will stop by the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the Koreas on Thursday in a bid to show Washington’s commitment to the South’s security, according to U.S. and South Korean officials.

The visit, declared on Tuesday, will come days after North Korea fired a ballistic missile in the direction of the sea and amid fears of a possible nuclear take a look at as the Biden administration’s attempts at outreach to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have failed.

Harris’ check out, which would be the to start with by a senior Biden administration formal, was publicly declared by South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo during a meeting with the U.S. vice president in Tokyo and was later on confirmed by a U.S. formal.

On Monday in New York, the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations, Kim Track, accused Washington of pursuing hostile guidelines that were being triggering a “vicious cycle of stress and confrontation.”

A U.S. aircraft carrier is in the area for joint drills with the South Korean navy this week in what Kim named an “extremely hazardous act” that could drive the peninsula to the brink of war.

Harris is in the area to guide a U.S. presidential delegation to the funeral of previous Japanese Primary Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday.

The DMZ check out will underscore the toughness of the alliance in between Seoul and Washington “in the deal with of any threats posed” by North Korea, claimed the U.S. official, who questioned not to be named speaking about a vacation that Harris has not formally introduced.

Harris will tour the DMZ, fulfill with support customers, acquire an operational briefing from U.S. commanders, replicate on the shared sacrifice of American and South Korean soldiers and reaffirm the “ironclad” dedication to South Korean protection, the formal included.

“Your check out to the DMZ and Seoul will be very symbolic demonstrations of your robust commitments to security and peace on the Korean Peninsula,” Han mentioned.

Quite a few previous U.S. presidents, and Biden himself before he grew to become president, have visited the DMZ, but previous President Donald Trump grew to become the 1st to have fulfilled a North Korean chief there when he held a third meeting with Kim Jong Un in 2019 as portion of his unsuccessful energy to persuade Kim to give up his nuclear and missile programs.

The DMZ is generally explained as the world’s final Chilly War frontier and has existed given that the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a armistice rather than a peace treaty.

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