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US VP Mike Pence’s DMZ visit a show of support to South Korea

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Published on Apr 17, 2017

South Korea is the first stop of US Vice President Mike Pence's four-nation Asia tour. His visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a buffer with the DPRK, was seen as a move to reassure America's old ally. Pence said "the era for strategic patience is over," with the US backing up these tough comments with the USS Carl Vinson strike group approaching the Korean Peninsula. But some fear that Pence’s visit, as well as the announcement of the early deployment of the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, will just add fuel to the fire. Indeed, all five candidates for May's South Korean presidential election have pledged to be less confrontational with the DPRK. Is the US policy of "maximum pressure and engagement" a welcome change for South Korea? We turn to our panel to find out: Yang Xiyu, Senior Fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, Choon-heum Choi, the vice president of the Institute of Peace and Unification of Korea, and Jonathan D. Pollack, Interim SK-Korea Foundation chair in Korea Studies at the Center for East Asia Policy Studies.

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