Kamala Harris Declares U.S. “Alliance with the Republic of North Korea” in Gaffetasctic Visit to DMZ

Kamala Harris Declares U.S. “Alliance with the Republic of North Korea” in Gaffetasctic Visit to DMZ

Coming soon after Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea as a warning to the South and its allies on Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris held a much anticipated press conference at the the Korean Peninsula's Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Thursday. 

Standing on the southern side of the demarcation line, opposite of which North Korean soldiers kept a close watch on the proceedings, she gave a speech hailing the "ironclad" commitment of the US to its allies in the region. But that's when she made an unfortunate and deeply awkward gaffe touting the strong alliance with "the Republic of North Korea."

Given the high stakes tensions which are ever-present over the peninsula, this was no small slip - coming also as the north "greeted" her visit with yet another ballistic missile launch on Thursday. "North Korea fired another suspected ballistic missile Thursday, South Korean and Japanese authorities said, marking Pyongyang’s third launch this week as it ratchets up regional tensions," Bloomberg confirmed.

Japan's defense ministry confirmed of Thursday's launch that this latest missile "flew to an altitude of 50km and covered a range of 300km."

In her speech, Harris denounced the "brutal dictatorship" of Kim Jong-un in what's being widely called unusually blunt criticism for the fact that the remarks were made from a high US official at the DMZ. But likely the impact was softened by the aforementioned US "alliance with the Republic of North Korea" gaffe.

Oops...

The north and the south took "dramatically different paths" - she continued, with the north marked by repeat severe human rights violations.

She referenced the heavily armed border she was standing next to as a "stark reminder" of this.

Kamala Harris In High Stakes Gaffe At DMZ Hails Strong US "Alliance With Republic Of North Korea"
At the demarcation line of the DMC, via Reuters

The trip to the DMZ came after her meeting in Seoul with President Yoon Suk Yeol. Both denounced the latest series of missile launches, and warned Pyongyang against reported plans to conduct a nuclear test, which would be the first since 2017.

Bloomberg describes of her first visit to the DMZ, "Harris entered a hut from the South Korean side used for discussions that straddles the border with North Korea on Thursday, becoming the highest-ranking member of the Biden administration to enter the 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) wide buffer where hundreds of thousands of troops are stationed on their respective sides of razor-wire fencing in a place dubbed the Cold War’s last frontier."

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