According to US and South Korean officials, US Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to the demilitarised zone (DMZ) dividing North and South Korea on Thursday.
The visit was announced on Tuesday by the prime minister of South Korea, Han Duck-soo, at a meeting with Harris in Tokyo. A US official later confirmed the announcement.
Harris is in the region to lead a US presidential delegation to the funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday.
‘The visit will emphasise the strength of the alliance between Seoul and Washington in the face of any threats offered by North Korea,’ the US official said. ‘Nearly 70 years have passed since the Korean Armistice.’
The official asked not to be named discussing a trip that Harris has not officially announced, Reuters reported.
In addition to touring the demilitarised zone (DMZ), meeting with service members, and receiving an operational briefing from US commanders, the official said Harris would also reflect on the shared sacrifice of US and South Korean soldiers and reaffirm the US military’s ‘ironclad’ commitment to South Korean security.
Prior to Harris’ visit to the area, a US official had issued a warning that North Korea might conduct a nuclear test or another form of provocation.
In advance of scheduled military exercises involving an aircraft carrier by South Korean and US forces, North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward the ocean on Sunday.