Headline RoundupSeptember 29th, 2022

Vice President Harris Visits South Korea to Affirm U.S. Alliance

AllSides Summary

Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Korean Demilitarized Zone on Thursday. The narrow corridor cuts the Korean peninsula in half, dividing it between the rival regimes in the north and south. The two sides remain in a delicate ceasefire spanning back to the civil war in the 1950s, where the United States intervened to support the southern, anti-communist government against the communist government to the north.

Nearly 30,000 American troops are stationed in South Korea, which is officially known as the Republic of Korea as opposed to the north’s Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Republic of Korea is a key Asian ally for the U.S. due to its proximity to American rivals China and North Korea. This past week, U.S. and South Korean militaries held joint naval drills in the waters around the peninsula for the first time in five years. In retaliation to these drills and the Vice President’s visit, North Korea conducted tests of their short range ballistic missiles, firing them into empty ocean.

The Vice President’s visit to South Korea, as well as the response from North Korea, was covered across the spectrum. The primary angle seen from the right regarded Vice President Harris accidentally stating “North Korea” as the U.S. ally instead of South Korea. The mistake was often framed in tandem with President Biden’s gaffe on Wednesday. During a press conference, the President asked where Rep. Jackie Walorski was in the room. Walorski died in a car crash last month. 

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