The US VP Kamala Harris visited the border between North and South Korea on Thursday and accused the North of having a “brutal dictatorship” in an unusually strong attack on the regime. Shortly after she left, Pyongyang fired two ballistic missiles in the direction of her flight from South Korea.
This was the third launch of its kind in two days.
During her first trip to the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between the two countries VP Harris said the heavily armed border area represented the “dramatically different paths” the two sides have taken.
She said: “In the North, we see a brutal dictatorship, rampant human rights violations and an unlawful weapons program that threatens peace and stability.
“The United States and the world seek a stable and peaceful Korean peninsula where the DPRK is no longer a threat.”
The DPRK references North Korea’s full name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Tensions in the far East have risen lately due to North Korea’s missile launches and the situation between China and Taiwan.
There are now fears that Pyongyang is preparing to carry out a missile test, its first since 2017 and its seventh in total.
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Both Ms Harris and President Yoon expressed their mutual desire for a complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, reported Reuters.
President Yoon’s office also confirmed that if Kim Jong Un pushed ahead with his nuclear plans the US and South Korea would implement “jointly prepared countermeasures,” without elaborating.
North Korea have hit back that they are acting in response to threats from the US.