In Seoul, Pelosi reaffirms US commitment to North Korea’s denuclearization
Seoul, Aug 4 (EFE).- United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi reaffirmed in Seoul on Thursday her country’s commitment to the denuclearization of North Korea and expressed concern about its weapons activity.
Pelosi met Thursday morning with her South Korean counterpart, Kim Jin-pyo, to discuss regional security and the economic outlook, among other things.
“The two sides expressed concern over the grave situation in which North Korea’s level of threat is heightening,” Kim said afterwards, reading a joint statement, according to Yonhap news agency.
They were referring to the record number of missile tests carried out this year by Pyongyang and the persistent rumors of an upcoming nuclear test.
The pair agreed to “support the two governments’ efforts for denuclearization and peace through international cooperation and diplomatic dialogues” based on “powerful and extended deterrence against North Korea,” they added.
Pelosi and Kim also highlighted the expansion of ties between their countries, not only in terms of security, but also economically and technologically, among other areas.
Pelosi plans to speak by phone with President Yoon Suk-yeol, who is on holiday, and her agenda also includes a visit in the coming hours to inter-Korean truce village Panmunjom bordering North Korea, where the Joint Security Area – the most militarized area of the peninsula – is located.
This will make her the highest-ranking US public official to visit the area, patrolled jointly by Seoul and the UN Command, since the visit of former president Donald Trump in 2019, when he met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Negotiations on denuclearization between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington have been at an impasse since the failed Hanoi summit that same year between Trump and Kim. They failed to reach an agreement on concessions from the North and the lifting of sanctions imposed on the regime.
The US legislator arrived at Osan air base south of Seoul on Wednesday night for a two-day visit from Taipei, where she had met President Tsai Ing-wen in a quick trip that infuriated China, which has mobilized military assets in retaliation.
The intention of her trip was to “make crystal clear that America stands with the people of Taiwan – and all those committed to Democracy and human rights,” she wrote on Twitter.
Pelosi is the first US House Speaker to travel to South Korea since Dennis Hastert’s 2002 visit.
South Korea is the penultimate stop on Pelosi’s Asia tour. She will next travel to Japan, after having previously visited Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan. EFE