House Speaker could be the first US official of high rank to visit heavily fortified North and South Korean borders since Donald Trump
After sparking China’s fury with her visit to Taiwan, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi now reportedly plans to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on Thursday, according to the Associated Press.
The US politician also met earlier in the day with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo, and other high ranking members of parliament, as part of her Asia tour that has already included stops in Singapore and Taipei.
After their meeting, the speaker and her South Korean counterpart issued a joint statement expressing concerns over North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, and vowed to support efforts to maintain a strong deterrence against Pyongyang and achieve its denuclearization.
Pelosi’s possible trip to the DMZ, the heavily fortified inter-Korean border jointly controlled by the US-led UN Command and North Korea, would come before her arrival in Japan, which is the next stop on her official itinerary, according to a South Korean official who spoke to AP on the conditions of anonymity.
US House Speaker is scheduled to visit the Joint Security Area, also known as Truce Village in the heart of DMZ buffer area, created in 1950 at the conclusion of the Korean War. US officials have often used the JSA as a place to renew their security commitments to South Korea.
The trip, if it happens to materializes, would be the first high-ranking US official to visit the area since Donald Trump’s meeting with Kim Jon Un in 2019.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said in a telephone call that the JSA visit would take place despite not being able to make it to Seoul. “a sign of a strong deterrence against North Korea,”According to News1
However, as AP points out, Pelosi’s visit to the border is likely to draw the ire of Pyongyang, which has condemned the speaker’s visit to Taiwan, describing it as a clear example of “the imprudent interference of the US in internal affairs of other countries.”
Nancy Pelosi, 82, visited Taiwan on Tuesday despite repeated protests from Beijing, which considers the island to be part of China’s sovereign territory.
Beijing has called the speaker’s visit “a complete farce” and has reacted by launching military exercises around Taiwan and warning the US that Pelosi’s visit would have a “severe impact”Washington and Beijing: bilateral relations
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