Vice President Kamala Harris appeared confused as she used binoculars to view North Korea from the demilitarized zone hours after she claimed the US had a ‘strong alliance’ with the enemy.
Video of Harris’ visit to South Korean on Thursday shows the vice president, accompanied by US soldiers, marveling as she looked into North Korea.
‘There’s something about seeing it… with your own eyes,’ Harris comments. ‘And it’s so close.’
The service member then corrects her, saying: ‘It’s 50 meters away, mam.’
‘Oh, right,’ she replied.
The vice president then suddenly begins talking to the US and South Korean soldiers at the DMZ about NASA’s Webb telescope, which has been taking pictures of distant galaxies.
‘Have you seen the photographs from the Webb telescope,’ Harris tells the officers, who appeared confused about the unrelated topic.
‘It’s the most humbling thing,’ Harris adds as the service members politely nod. ‘You’ve got to see it.’
Kamala Harris at the demilitarize zone separating the two Koreas (Leah Millis/AP)
The exchange at the DMZ came right after her speech at the border site where she mistakenly touted the US alliance with ‘North Korea.’
‘The United States shares a very important relationship, which is an alliance with the Republic of North Korea,’ Harris said during a speech at the DMZ Thursday, intending to refer to the Republic of Korea, the official name of South Korea.
‘It is an alliance that is strong and enduring,’ she continued, not appearing to recognize her mistake.
Her remarks professing U.S. support for South Korea’s defense came as North Korea launched yet another missile on Thursday in the face of the vice president’s trip to Asia.
A communications advisor for Texas Senator Ted Cruz called Harris a ‘flat out moron’ for her remarks.
During remarks at the conclusion of her visit to the DMZ, Harris touted the alliance the U.S. has with ‘the Republican North Korea’ – an embarrassing gaffe on the heels of President Joe Biden asking the crowd to identify a decease congresswoman the day prior
The stenographer’s transcript for the vice president showed the word ‘North’ crossed out for her remarks despite Harris not correcting her mistake in real-time during the speech. This is common practice for the White House stenographers when fact-checking transcripts
South Korean, American and Japanese warships have launched their first trilateral anti-submarine drills in five years, after North Korea renewed missile tests this week in an apparent response to bilateral training by South Korean and US forces.
The North’s five missiles launches, the first in a month, came before and after US vice president Harris visited South Korea on Thursday and reaffirmed the ‘ironclad’ US commitment to the security of its Asian allies.
The one-day training off the Korean peninsula’s east coast is intended as a test to show how South Korea would cope with a North Korean push to advance its ability to fire missile from submarines, according to a South Korean navy statement.
The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier participates in the joint drill (South Korea Defense Ministry/AP)
Pyongyang has been building bigger submarines including a nuclear-powered one and testing sophisticated missiles that can be fired from them in recent years.
That is an alarming development for its rivals because it is harder to detect underwater-launched missiles in advance.
South Korean officials said last weekend that they had detected signs that North Korea was preparing to test-fire a missile from a submarine.
Friday’s drills involve the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan as well as US, South Korean and Japanese destroyers, the navy statement said.
During the training, the navy ships from the three nations were to search and track a US nuclear-powered submarine posing as a North Korean sub while exchanging related information, according to media reports.
‘We will respond and neutralize any forms of North Korean provocations in an overwhelming and decisive manner,’ said Captain Cho Chung-ho, commander of the South Korean navy troops who took part in the training.
In addition to its submarine-launched missiles, North Korea also has a variety of nuclear-capable missiles that place the three collaborating countries within striking distance.
This year, Pyongyang has performed a record number of missile tests as it refuses to resume long-stalled nuclear diplomacy with the US.
The USS Ronald Reagan and nuclear-powered submarine the USS Annapolis (South Korea Defense Ministry/AP)
Friday’s training comes as South Korea and Japan try to mend ties frayed over history and trade disputes.
The two Asian countries together host a total of 80,000 American troops. Earlier this week, the USS Ronald Reagan took part in joint US-South Korean drills near the peninsula, the first such bilateral involving a US aircraft carrier since 2017.
The North’s most recent missile tests happened on Thursday, hours after Harris left South Korea.
During her visit to the demilitarize zone separating the two Koreas, she said: ‘In the South, we see a thriving democracy. In the North, we see a brutal dictatorship.’