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VPOTUS pool report 7 speech and Easter dinner
Andrew Beatty • Agence France-Presse
April 16, 2017: 07:16 PM

First, a little news.

During a dinner speech VPOTUS described the DPRK missile test as a "provocation" (full quote below). He added: "let me assure you that under President Trump's leadership our resolve has never been stronger, our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger and with your help and God's help freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula."

In addition, your pooler has one clarification from the White House. A spokesperson for the VP wanted to make clear re previous White House foreign policy advisor's remarks: "there has been no change in policy regarding the deployment of THAAD."

And with that, back to regular programming…..

At 18:24 VPOTUS and Mrs Pence entered a function room upstairs in the church.

It was filled with about half a dozen six-person tables and a central table running the length of the room. Already set out on the pink table cloths were flowers, plates with what looked like slices of red velvet and carrot cake, bottles of water and some bread rolls.

There was a food serving station at one end of the room and a podium backed by the US and South Korean flags. On the menu - beef, ham, bulgogi, mash, rice, mandu and assorted salads and veg.

General Brooks gave brief introductory remarks, and then VPOTUS spoke.

"It is an honor to be with you today on this Easter Sunday," he said, then inviting a round of applause for Brooks.

He also thanked the two chaplains for the service, joking that his daughter Audrey said it was the best sermon she has heard in a year and a half.

VPOTUS said he brought greetings from the commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump, which was met with polite applause.

"I spoke to the president earlier today and I spoke to him on the way over, and he asked me to be here, and he told me in no uncertain terms to make sure I told all of you 'we're proud of you and we're grateful for your service.'"

"The attention that this part of the world has got from people back home is probably no surprise."

*"This morning's provocation from the north is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face each and every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world."

"Your willingness to step forward, to serve, to stand firm without fear, inspires."

VPOTUS against cited president Trump, saying under his leadership "we are going to rebuild our military" which won greater applause.

The Vice President also mentioned his father, who served in the Korean War. He stood together with others for freedom, he said.

"I stand before you today very moved this Eastern Sunday, because one of those soldiers more than sixty years ago was my dad. As we landed today on the peninsula I looked out at those rolling hills and I thought about second lieutenant Edward J Pence who was with the 45th infantry division of the United States Army that served here in combat."

He won the bronze star in 1953.

"On this day I think of my dad. He's been gone 29 years now and is still enshrined in the hearts of everyone in our family. And I think of what dad would be thinking about and I believe he is thinking about, as he looks down to see his third son return to that place he left so many years ago, and to see that the sacrifices that were made, the commitment that endures here as a result of a free and prosperous South Korea."

At 19:10 the pool is back in vans.

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