펜스 美부통령 방한…내일 黃대행 만나 대북대응 논의
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Seoul, the first stop in his first Asia Pacific region.
His meetings in the nation reflect Washington's emphasis in its alliance and will to solve the North Korea issue.
Connie Kim has more on the visit that comes when tensions on the peninsula are high.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence kicked off his first official visit to South Korea, the first stop on his itinerary in the Asia -Pacific region. And it comes at a time of high tensions between the U.S. and North Korea.
Just hours before the Vice President arrived in Seoul, North Korea attempted to fire a missile, which is believed to have exploded immediately after launch.
Pence's first scheduled engagement was a visit to the Seoul National Cemetery, where he paid tribute to the soldiers who died in the Korean War.
The Vice President's own father, Edward Pence, fought in the Korean War and was awarded a Bronze Star for his service.
It's the first visit to the Seoul National Cemetary by an official in the Trump administration, with South Korean officials seeing the gesture as emphasizing the strong Seoul-Washington alliance.
The highlight of Pence's three-day visit will come on day two when he's due to meet with South Korea's Acting President Hwang Kyo-ahn.
On the agenda are response measures to North Korea's military provocations,... reaffirming the South Korea-U.S. alliance and a review of the new U.S. administration's North Korea policy.
White House officials have reportedly said Trump's policy towards Pyongyang seeks to impose "maximum pressure" on it... in the hope of bringing the regime back to negotiations and getting rid of its growing nuclear arsenal.
A strong message on North Korea is expected when Hwang and Pence speak to reporters after their meeting,... considering that North Korea tried to fire off a missile on the day of Pence's arrival and showed off new missiles including an ICBM on North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung's birthday.
While in Seoul, Pence will also meet National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun -- also to discuss Trump's new North Korea policy and the THAAD missile defense system.
Pence is also expected to speak with the heads of South Korean businesses to explain Washington's economic policy... due to fears of a new protectionist stance in the U.S.
Washington proposed having Pence visit Seoul first on his Asia-Pacific tour,... even though South Koreans will elect a new leader in less than a month.
Considering that U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson have already visited Seoul in the early days of the Trump administration,... South Korean government officials say Washington is putting a lot of weight on the two countries' alliance and on solving the North Korea issue.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.
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