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Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 1149, which recognizes that the United States-Republic of Korea alliance serves as a linchpin of regional stability and bilateral security, and exemplifies the broad and deep military, diplomatic, economic and cultural ties shared between the United States and the Republic of Korea.
On the House floor prior to the vote, Chairman Ed Royce delivered the following remarks (as prepared for delivery):
“Strengthening U.S.-Korea ties has been one of my top priorities in Congress. As a Southern Californian, I have seen firsthand how Korean-Americans serve as pillars not only for their communities in the U.S., but also for the friendship between the U.S. and South Korea.
It was an honor to see my former staff member Young Kim represent my Orange County neighbors and me in the California State Assembly. She served ably and energetically. Her story is the same as so many South Koreans who have come to this country and thrived.
The United States has no better partner in the Asia Pacific than the Republic of Korea. We signed the KORUS Free Trade Agreement, which went into effect in 2012. Since enactment of the KORUS Free Trade Agreement, trade has flourished, creating jobs in America and South Korea. In fact, South Korea is now our sixth-largest trading partner. And today, this partnership remains as important as ever as we look at the growing challenges across Asia.
We stood by Seoul as it was wrongfully punished by China for installing the THAAD ballistic missile defense system. And we continue to lead in helping to address the grave and immediate threats North Korea poses to Seoul, the United States and our neighboring partners.
Despite recent diplomatic efforts, it was recently reported that North Korea has expanded a missile base along the Chinese border. A nearby second facility was also uncovered, while numerous undeclared missile bases have been identified.
And last month, North Korea’s official news media reported that it successfully tested a new ‘state-of-the-art weapon that has been long developed…significantly improving the combat power of our people’s army.’
These provocations and developments should underscore the threat we face from North Korea. That’s why it’s so important that we continue to press forward, together, with a campaign of maximum financial and diplomatic pressure. We must remain clear-eyed that the third generation of the Kim regime poses just as significant of a threat to us, our partners and, most acutely, the North Korean people as it ever has.
Again, the U.S. has no better friend in Asia or anywhere else in the world than South Korea. We must continue to strengthen this partnership, particularly in the face of these ongoing threats.”