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US vice president arrives in ROK for talks on DPRK

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-04-16 16:48

SEOUL -- US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in the Republic of Korea (ROK) on Sunday as part of his first trip to Asia, and is expected to talk with the ROK's side about issues related to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Pence is scheduled to pay a visit to the Seoul National Cemetery and have dinner with combined forces of the ROK and the United States later in the day. About 28,500 US troops are stationed here.

His visit to the ROK followed the DPRK's failed test-launch of an unidentified missile earlier in the day.

The missile was fired from the DPRK's eastern coastal city of Sinpo, but it exploded during launch.

Tensions escalated on the Korean Peninsula as an US aircraft carrier re-routed and headed to the peninsula, just after participating in the US-ROK joint military exercises last month.

The rare re-routing of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier and its accompanying warships triggered concerns here about possible US airstrike on DPRK targets.

The US vice president is set to meet Monday with the ROK's Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is serving as acting president following the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye.

Hwang and Pence are said to talk about the DPRK issues amid the growing tensions on the peninsula.

Pence is also scheduled to meet with the ROK's National Assembly Speaker Chung Sye-kyun and businessmen here, before leaving for Japan on Tuesday.

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