Kamala Harris prepares for DMZ go to after N Korea missile launch | Politics Information


US Vice President Kamala Harris has arrived in Seoul on a visit designed to underline the US’s dedication to South Korea as Pyongyang continued an unprecedented blitz of weapons testing with the launch of two ballistic missiles.

Shortly after touching down from Japan on Thursday morning, Harris met South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol at his workplace in Seoul and praised the alliance between the international locations as a “linchpin of safety and prosperity”.

Yoon, a conservative who took workplace in Might, referred to as her go to “one other turning level” in strengthening ties.

Harris will go to the heavily-fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ), which has existed for the reason that 1950-53 Korean Battle led to an armistice relatively than a peace treaty, later within the day.

“It’s nearly on the ‘to-do checklist’ of any vice chairman or president visiting this a part of the world, to go to the DMZ,” stated Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, who’s in Paju, South Korea, close to the border.

US President Joe Biden visited the realm when he was vice chairman in 2013, whereas former President Donald Trump went there in 2019, creating headlines by shaking fingers with North Korean chief Kim Jong Un and entering into North Korea.

These have been “heady days”, McBride stated, and far has modified since.

“It’s a sign of how far the connection has slipped backwards that when Harris visits the DMZ, she is prone to observe a way more normal go to, in all probability assembly totally different service personnel, [and] peering throughout to the north,” he stated.

North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles on Wednesday, whereas Harris was in Japan, and had fired one earlier than she left Washington, DC, on Sunday. Many analysts say it’s getting ready to launch its first nuclear weapon in 5 years.

Harris and Yoon have been anticipated to debate the North Korean risk and the US commitments to defend South Korea. They have been additionally anticipated to debate increasing financial and know-how partnerships and repairing lately strained ties between Seoul and Tokyo.

Whereas in Tokyo, the place she attended the state funeral of assassinated former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Harris condemned North Korea’s “illicit weapons programme”.

The united statesRonal Reagan, a nuclear-powered plane provider, is in South Korea for the primary time in 5 years and collaborating in navy workouts [Yonhap via Reuters]

In Washington, DC, White Home Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated the most recent missile checks wouldn’t deter Harris from the DMZ and that she needed to reveal the US’s “rock-solid dedication” to regional safety.

“As you realize, North Korea has a historical past of doing these kind of checks,” Jean-Pierre stated, calling it “commonplace”.

Yoon campaigned for election on guarantees to deepen Seoul’s financial and safety partnership with Washington to raised tackle the challenges posed by North Korea, and tackle potential provide chain dangers brought on by the pandemic, US-China rivalry and Russia’s struggle on Ukraine.

A spat between the 2 allies over electrical autos has created tensions, however safety points are prone to dominate Harris’s one-day go to.

South Korea and the US this yr resumed large-scale mixed navy workouts that had been downsized or suspended in the course of the Trump administration to assist his finally futile nuclear diplomacy with Kim.

Earlier this week, armed forces from the 2 international locations performed a navy drill in waters off South Korea’s east coast involving the nuclear-powered USS Ronald Reagan plane provider, which is in South Korea for the primary time in 5 years.

And on Friday, South Korea’s navy will stage trilateral anti-submarine workouts with US and Japanese forces which are designed to enhance their functionality to counter evolving North Korean threats, together with its submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

The drills will deliver collectively warships, together with the united statesRonald Reagan plane provider, the united statesChancellorsville guided-missile cruiser, the united statesBarry guided-missile destroyer, South Korea’s Munmu the Nice destroyer and Japan’s Asahi tanker.

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