SEOUL-US Vice President Kamala Harris was in South Korea Thursday to tour the heavily fortified border with the nuclear-armed North, on a trip aimed at strengthening the security alliance with Seoul.

North Korea conducted two banned ballistic missile launches in the days before Harris’s arrival, part of a record-breaking streak of weapons tests this year.

Her trip to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) is likely to infuriate Pyongyang, which branded United States House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the “worst destroyer of international peace” when she visited the border in August.

Speaking aboard a US destroyer at a naval base in Japan, Harris accused North Korea of threatening regional stability with fresh missile launches, denouncing the country’s “illicit weapons program”. She had been in Japan to attend the state funeral of assassinated former prime minister Shinzo Abe. In Seoul, she will meet South Korea’s President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took office in May.