House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to reporters in South Korea on Thursday but did not mention her recent Taiwan trip.
Pelosi flew to South Korea directly after her delegation’s stop in Taiwan. Her time on the disputed island region spawned a harsh series of threats and military drills from China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The military is reportedly practicing blockades at sea and missile launches, as well as combat on land. The Chinese military is utilizing advanced technology in the drills, including J-20 stealth fighter jets and DF-17 hypersonic missiles.
After visiting Taiwan, Pelosi and other members of her congressional delegation flew to South Korea — a key U.S. ally where about 28,500 American troops are deployed — on Wednesday evening, as part of an Asian tour that included earlier stops in Singapore and Malaysia.
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Pelosi met South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin Pyo and other senior members of Parliament on Thursday. After that hour-long meeting, Pelosi spoke about the bilateral alliance, forged in blood during the 1950-53 Korean War, and legislative efforts to boost ties, but did not directly mention her Taiwan visit or the Chinese protests.
“We also come to say to you that a friendship, a relationship that began from urgency and security, many years ago, has become the warmest of friendships,” Pelosi said in a joint news conference with Kim. “We want to advance security, economy and governance in the inter-parliamentary way.”
Pelosi and her delegation later spoke by phone with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on the alliance, foreign policy and other issues.
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Neither Pelosi nor Kim took questions from journalists.
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South Korea’s military said on Sunday it had detected the trajectories of what appeared to be shots fired by North Korea, possibly from multiple rocket launchers (MLRs).
North Korea often test-fires MLRs during military drills, and in recent years has also developed larger versions of such rockets. Smaller rockets and missiles are seen as central to North Korea’s plans for striking targets in South Korea in the event of a conflict.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.