Vice President Kamala Harris recently made a public gaffe while visiting the Korean Demilitarized Zone when she touted the United States’ “alliance with the Republic of North Korea.”
“The United States shares a very important relationship, which is an alliance with the Republic of North Korea,” Harris said. In doing so, she botched the official name of South Korea, a long-standing ally of the United States. “And it is an alliance that is strong and enduring.”
In remarks that followed, Harris used the correct country’s name, saying the “alliance between the United States and the Republic of Korea stands ready to address any contingency. The commitment of the United States to the defense of the Republic of Korea, I will report, is ironclad.”
VP Harris’ blunder came a day after President Joe Biden made a slip when he asked in a speech whether Indiana Republican Representative Jackie Walorski was in the audience. Rep. Walorski died in a car accident in August.
Republicans rapidly jumped on the mistakes. “Biden looked around the room for a dead person,” tweeted Greg Price, a Republican strategist. “Kamala is saying we have an alliance and important relationship with Kim Jong Un. What an absolute disaster.”
Erin Perrine, longtime GOP communications pro, echoed Price, saying, “It is very obvious the VP misspoke here, but it leads to a serious question, will the White House admit the mistake or double down like they did yesterday when it was clear Biden messed up big time calling out for a dead member of Congress?”
North Korea fires missiles after VP Harris visits South Korea.
Mere hours after VP Harris’ visit to South Korea, North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea in a show of defiance. Harris traveled to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), separating the two countries, and emphasized the United States has an “ironclad” commitment to the security of its Asian allies.
The missile launches were the third in a week, showing an increased pace in weapons teasing at it continues to pressure Washington to accept it as a nuclear power and pushes to expand its arsenal.
The missiles were fired nine minutes apart from an area near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. They flew toward waters between Japan and the Korean Peninsula, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Japan’s military said it had also detected the launches. North Korea fired the two missiles while VP Harris was in Japan.
There are strong concerns that North Korea may soon conduct nuclear testing, which could move the country closer to being an acknowledged nuclear power. The vice president described the missile launches as aggressive provocations intended to “destabilize the region” and said South Korea and the U.S. remain firmly committed to the “complete denuclearization” of the North.
“I cannot state enough that commitment of the United States to the defense of the Republic of Korea is ironclad,” said Harris. “In the South, we see a thriving democracy. In the North, we see a brutal dictatorship.”