Vice President Kamala Harris has fumbled every issue handed off to her. Now her newest challenge involves a diplomatic visit that requires a delicate touch.
The White House confirmed Harris would visit the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea on Thursday, the Washington Examiner reported. This comes amid tensions in the region as the U.S. and South Korea are involved in joint military exercises for the first time in five years.
Harris arrived in Tokyo Monday primarily to lead the U.S. delegation attending former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan. However, her trip was touted by the White House as a way to "reaffirm the United States' commitment to our allies in an increasingly complex security environment."
The administration also hoped sending Harris would "deepen our overall engagement in the Indo-Pacific." This trip comes as tensions tighten in the region with China's saber-rattling against Taiwan.
"The Vice President will tour sites at the DMZ, meet with service members, and receive an operational briefing from U.S. commanders," a statement from the White House said. She also "will reflect on the shared sacrifice of tens of thousands of American and Korean soldiers who fought and died together, and will reaffirm that the U.S. commitment to the ROK's defense is ironclad," the statement said.
Further details of her tour were not confirmed until South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, who had met with Harris in Tokyo, shared in his remarks after meeting the vice president. He said her visit would be a "symbolic demonstration" of America's promises of security and peace for the Korean Peninsula.
However, Harris' visit, coupled with the arrival of the USS Ronald Reagan in the South Korean port of Busan Sunday for the military exercises, seemed to provoke North Korea. A short-range ballistic missile was launched Sunday in direct response to the U.S. military's presence, South Korean officials said.
The job of diffusing a potential disaster in the region is important and requires an expert hand. Unfortunately, Harris is woefully unprepared for such a mission.