On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris finished a four-day trip to South Korea, during which she held a press conference praising the U.S. “alliance with the Republic of North Korea.”
KAMALA HARRIS: "The United States shares a very important relationship, which is an alliance with the Republic of North Korea." pic.twitter.com/H2dI5UYOlo
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 29, 2022
The comment came just after Harris met with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and visited the Demilitarized Zone between North Korea and South Korea.
Harris visited South Korea this past week to reinforce that the U.S. stands firmly behind South Korea, making the error in her speech particularly unfortunate.
“The United States shares a very important relationship, which is an alliance with the Republic of North Korea,” Harris said during her speech.
She addressed the countries correctly in subsequent comments.
“I cannot state enough that the 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,” she continued. “In the North, we see a brutal dictatorship.”
Later, an American officer explained to her that North Korea and South Korea still pass messages back and forth to one another in order to negotiate, and sometimes even communicate by speaking through megaphones.
“That’s high tech,” Harris joked. “We’ve stepped into history.”
“It’s still going,” the colonel replied.
“The past and present are happening every day,” Harris came back with.
Harris’ speech mishap comes just after President Joe Biden addressed a conference back at the White House, looking into the crowd for a deceased congresswoman.
Just hours after Harris departed South Korea, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles into nearby waters. The launch is being seen as a sign of aggression. It was the third missile launch this week by North Korea, as a continuation of a record pace of weapons testing.
Last week, South Korean officials announced that they believe North Korea is preparing to test a submarine missile system, while both U.S. and South Korean officials believe North Korea is gearing up for a nuclear test, its first since 2017.