Tuesday, September 23, 2014

U.S. lawmakers express support for Park's policy on unification

Maybe we can get the US government to develop a policy and more importantly a strategy to support the ROK in pursuit of unification.  Since our policy of strategic patience has become one of strategic paralysis, maybe a shift to a strategy based on support ROK unification would be more effective (certainly it would in the long run).

U.S. lawmakers express support for Park's policy on unification

2014/09/23 03:52
By Chang Jae-soon
WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- A group of U.S. lawmakers sent a letter to South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday, praising and supporting her handling of North Korea and efforts to seek unification with the communist nation.
The letter, co-signed by 14 members of the House of Representatives led by Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Mike Kelly (R-PA), was timed with Park's arrival in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, where she plans to deliver a keynote speech about unification.
The lawmakers said that last month's visit to South Korea by Pope Francis "not only highlighted but confirmed the important leadership role that Korea is actively playing in the Asia-Pacific region." They called the South a "key U.S. ally, indispensable partner and friend."

   "We applaud your strong leadership and conviction especially in light of the continued acts of destabilization by North Korea," the letter said. "We support your efforts to maintain a firm and consistent posture against any threats and provocations by North Korea, while also seeking avenues for peaceful dialogue with the North for the eventual reunification."

   The lawmakers also expressed support for Park's vision for unification, known as the "Dresden" declaration, as well as her initiatives at increased reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, targeted humanitarian assistance and promotion of educational and cultural exchange programs.
The "Dresden" declaration was so named because Park unveiled it in a speech in the former East German city earlier this year. It calls for gradually expanding economic and other exchanges and cooperation between the two sides so as to lay the groundwork for unification.
The congressmen noted and congratulated Park on the establishment of a presidential committee on unification.
Recalling Park's speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress last year, they said Park's Korean Peninsula trust process is an important policy priority. They also expressed support for her vision to create a peace park in the Demilitarized Zone.
"Madam President, we reiterate our support for your initiative for peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia as well as your goals and vision outlined in your Dresden Address," they said. "May we one day see a reunified Korea free of tyranny, oppression and suffering, and we look forward to partnering with you in the U.S. Congress to realize this important and shared objective."

   Connolly is co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Korea and a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The lawmaker, who is known as a champion of the U.S.-Korea alliance, also played a role in the House passage of the North Korea sanctions bill in July.
The 12 other congressmen are Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Tom Reed (R-NY), Michael Honda (D-CA), Luke Messer (R-IN), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Billy Long (R-MO), Doug Collins (R-GA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

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