The gaffe happened as Harris delivered prepared remarks from South Korea, one of her stops during a diplomatic trip around Asia this week. Her visit to South Korea was preceded by multiple North Korean rocket tests and at least one more after her departure, according to the South Korean military.
“The United States shares a very important relationship, which is an alliance with the Republic of North Korea. And it is an alliance that is strong and enduring,” Harris said.
Kamala: "The United States shares a very important relationship, which is an alliance with the Republic of North Korea." pic.twitter.com/eEfIAOnhgW
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) September 29, 2022
Harris’s visit to South Korea comes amid concerns over North Korea’s escalating rocket tests and suspicions that the regime may soon test a nuclear weapon. While touring South Korea, the vice president said North Korea’s recent rocket tests are intended to “destabilize the region” and repeated the United States’ call for the “complete denuclearization” of North Korea, according to the Associated Press.
Harris also reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to its Asian allies.
“I cannot state enough that commitment of the United States to the defense of the Republic of Korea is ironclad,” she said. “In the South, we see a thriving democracy. In the North, we see a brutal dictatorship.”
During her visit, Harris met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol. Harris told Yoon that the U.S. was prepared to defend South Korea militarily in the case of war, Yoon’s office said.
North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan on Thursday after Harris departed South Korea by helicopter. The rocket test was the third this week, following at least two shot off on Wednesday and one on Sunday, according to CNBC.
North Korea has been pushing the United States to recognize it as a nuclear power, causing some concern among Western officials that the dictatorial regime run by Kim Jong Un may test its first nuclear device since 2017. According to South Korean intelligence, the test is likely to come sometime between the Chinese Communist Party convention the week of October 16 and the United States’ midterm elections on November 8.