Pelosi pledges to denuclearize North Korea before visit to demilitarized zone

Micaela Burrow, DCNF

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi committed to North Korean denuclearization during a stop in South Korea Thursday, where she also visited the special Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two countries.

Pelosi met with South Korean Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo to reaffirm the need to ensure Kim Jong-Un’s repressive regime in the north denuclearizes and demonstrates “strong and extended deterrence against the North,” Reuters reported. North Korea has escalated missile tests in 2022 and threatened to fire nuclear weapons at the U.S. and South Korea on July 28.

“Both sides expressed concerns about the dire situation of North Korea’s growing threat,” Pelosi and Kim said in a joint statement, Reuters reported.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons program appears “unstoppable,” former U.S. diplomat and Korea expert Victor Cha said at a briefing Wednesday, Business Insider reported.

“We agreed to support the efforts of the two governments to achieve practical denuclearization and peace through international cooperation and diplomatic dialogue, based on the strong and extended deterrence against the North,” Pelosi and Kim added.

Pelosi also paid a visit to the Demilitarized Zone/Joint Security Area (DMZ/JSA), a heavily armed buffer zone established after the Korean War that divides the democratic South and the socialist North. Former President Donald Trump was the most recent high-level U.S. official to visit the border region in 2019, where he met with the North Korean dictator and became the first sitting U.S. leader to cross into North Korea, CNN reported.

“During visits to the Demilitarized Zone/Joint Security Area and Osan Air Base, we conveyed the gratitude of the Congress and the Country for the patriotic service of our Service members, who stand as sentinels of Democracy on the Korean peninsula,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Pelosi held a brief phone call with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, who could not meet allegedly due to a previously-scheduled vacation, according to Reuters. Local media speculated that Yoon avoided a public meeting with Pelosi after her meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen set off a figurative firestorm with China, which seeks to take over the island it sees as a separatist region.

Pelosi touched down in Japan later Thursday. Five of the 11 missiles the Chinese military launched Thursday as part of its military exercises to show force against Taiwan landed in Japan’s territorial waters.

The Office of Nancy Pelosi and the Republic of Korea Embassy to the U.S. did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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