Pelosi vows support to denuclearise N Korea
US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her South Korean counterpart yesterday vowed to support deterrence against North Korea and achieve its denuclearisation.
"Both sides expressed concerns about the dire situation of North Korea's growing threat," Pelosi and South Korea's National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo said in a joint statement after meeting in Seoul.
"We agreed to support the efforts of the two governments to achieve practical denuclearisation and peace through international cooperation and diplomatic dialogue, based on the strong and extended deterrence against the North."
Pelosi arrived in South Korea on wednesday. She was scheduled to visit the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
If she visits, she will be the highest-ranking US official to visit the Joint Security Area (JSA) and inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom since then president Donald Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un there in 2019.
It was not clear if the US Speaker made the visit.
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol did not meet Pelosi due to his scheduled vacation this week, but held a 40-minute phone call with her where he promised close cooperation with the US Congress.
South Korean media speculated that Yoon could be shunning meeting Pelosi in person to avoid antagonising China, after her visit to Taiwan outraged Beijing, which claims the self-governed island as its own.
Late yesterday night, Pelosi arrived in Japan, which earlier in the day said five Chinese ballistic missiles landed within its exclusive economic zone, part of military exercises launched by Beijing in response to her Taiwan visit.
Pelosi is scheduled to hold a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida today.