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In South Korea, Pelosi wanted to visit the heavily fortified DMZ

#South #Korea #Pelosi #wanted #visit #heavily #fortified #DMZ

After her high-profile trip to Taiwan, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was in South Korea on Thursday and her agenda included a visit to the border with the nuclear-armed north, an official told AFP.

Pelosi, who arrived in Seoul late Wednesday, will visit the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) where North and South Korean forces stand face to face, the South Korean official said.

She would be the senior US official to visit the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom since then-President Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un there in 2019.

Pelosi has defied repeated Chinese warnings to visit Taiwan, which Beijing considers its territory, and had said it viewed their trip as a major provocation.

Since then, she has announced massive military exercises around the island.

China is North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner.

Pyongyang on Wednesday repeated Beijing’s criticism of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, describing it as “blatant interference” in China’s internal affairs and accusing Washington of escalating regional tensions.

South Korea is the fourth stop on Pelosis’ Asian tour, following Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan.

In the capital, Seoul, she met with National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo and other senior lawmakers to discuss issues such as regional security and economic cooperation.

Pelosi is also scheduled to phone President Yoon Suk-yeol, who is on vacation this week, officials said.

Yoon took office in May and pledged to strengthen ties with the United States, including stepping up joint military exercises, which always infuriate North Korea.

Pelosi is scheduled to fly to Japan later on Thursday for the final leg of her Asia tour.

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#South #Korea #Pelosi #wanted #visit #heavily #fortified #DMZ

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