Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 41) encouraging peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, as amended.
The Clerk read the title of the concurrent resolution.
The text of the concurrent resolution is as follows:
H. Con. Res. 41
Whereas the Republic of Korea (in this resolution referred to as ``South Korea'') and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (in this resolution referred to as ``North Korea'') have never formally ended hostilities and have been technically in a state of war since the Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953;
Whereas the United States, representing the United Nations Forces Command which was a signatory to the Armistice Agreement, and with 28,500 of its troops currently stationed in South Korea, has a stake in the progress towards peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula;
Whereas progress towards peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula would mean greater security and prosperity for the region and the world;
Whereas, at the end of World War II, Korea officially gained independence from Japanese rule, as agreed to at the Cairo Conference on November 22, 1943, through November 26, 1943;
Whereas, on August 10, 1945, the Korean Peninsula was temporarily divided along the 38th parallel into two military occupation zones commanded by the United States and the Soviet Union;
Whereas, on June 25, 1950, communist North Korea attacked the South, thereby initiating the Korean War and diminishing prospects for a peaceful unification of Korea;
Whereas, during the Korean War, more than 36,000 members of the United States Armed Forces were killed and approximately 1,789,000 members of the United States Armed Forces served in-theater along with the South Korean forces and 20 other members of the United Nations to secure peace on the Korean Peninsula and in the Asia-Pacific region;
Whereas, since the end of the Korean War era, the United States Armed Forces have remained in South Korea to promote regional peace;
Whereas provocations by the Government of North Korea in recent years have escalated tension and instability in the Asia-Pacific region;
Whereas North Korea's human rights abuses, suppression of dissent, and hostility to South Korea remain significant obstacles to peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula;
Whereas North Korea's economic policies have led to extreme economic privation for its citizens, whose quality of life ranks among the world's lowest;
Whereas North Korea's proliferation of nuclear and missile technology threatens international peace and stability;
Whereas North Korea has systematically violated numerous International Atomic Energy Agency and United Nations Security Council Resolutions with respect to its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs;
Whereas the refusal of the Government of North Korea to denuclearize disrupts peace and security on the Korean Peninsula;
Whereas, beginning in 2003, the United States, along with the two Koreas, Japan, the People's Republic of China, and the Russian Federation, have engaged in six rounds of Six-Party Talks aimed at the verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and finding a peaceful resolution to the security concerns resulting from North Korea's nuclear development;
Whereas the three-mile wide buffer zone between the two Koreas, known as the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, is the most heavily armed border in the world;
Whereas the Korean War separated more than 10,000,000 Korean family members, including 100,000 Korean Americans who, after 60 years of separation, are still waiting to see their families in North Korea;
Whereas reunification remains a long-term goal of South Korea;
Whereas South Korea and North Korea are both full members of the United Nations, whose stated purpose includes maintaining international peace and security, and to that end ``take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace'';
Whereas the Governments and people of the United States and South Korea have continuously stood shoulder-to-shoulder to promote and defend international peace and security, economic prosperity, human rights, and the rule of law both on the Korean Peninsula and beyond, and the denuclearization of North Korea; and
Whereas July 27, 2013, marks the 60th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement of the Korean War: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That Congress--
(1) recognizes the historical importance of the Korean War, which began on June 25, 1950;
(2) honors the noble service and sacrifice of members of the United States Armed Forces and the armed forces of allied countries that have served in Korea since 1950;
(3) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its alliance with South Korea for the betterment of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula; and
(4) calls on North Korea to respect the fundamental human rights of its citizens, abandon and dismantle its nuclear weapons program, and end its nuclear and missile proliferation as integral steps toward peace and eventual reunification.
Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel), the author of this bill and a hero of the Korean War, who served his country with valor during that tough campaign. After surviving an onslaught by waves of Chinese troops, he led his surviving comrades, while wounded, to safety from behind enemy lines, for which he was awarded a Purple Heart and also a Bronze Star for Valor.
Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Speaker, I was prepared to respond to the chairman and ranking member for their legislative courtesies they had extended to me. I appreciate the tribute being paid to me which, unusually, I was awkwardly unprepared for. But I do want to thank the gentleman for his friendship in more ways than just this resolution, as well as Tom Sheehy, who worked with your staff, and, of course, my friend from New York, J.J., on the committee staff. He guided to make certain that this almost-legislatively
impossible resolution was so expediently brought up to be considered by this august House.
On Saturday last, the President of the United States, along with our congressional colleague, who is now the Secretary of the Department of Defense, and the Secretaries of all of the Armed Forces groups, got together to honor the veterans of the Korean War. It was a sight to see so many Korean veterans from so many different parts of the country.
They were reminded by the President that we had been labeled--those that participated--as what was referred to as ``the forgotten war.'' Because most all of the world knew about the importance of America being involved in saving democracy in World War II. And Vietnam, for good or bad, everyone knew people that went there. But somehow, in the middle of that, no one really missed us or knew where Korea was--or it didn't appear there was too much concern. When we did return, unlike the Vietnam veterans,
who really had unfairly been treated, but fortunately for us, we were never missed, except by our families and friends. People never knew where we were. The Congress was not as kind to us as they had been to the veterans.
Having said all of that, it was a wonderful tribute. Veterans turned out from all over. Certainly, there were comrades that were part of the 20 countries that were part of the United Nations. And when the North Koreans invaded South Korea, those of us that were called to go to South Korea to defend them were going to a country that we never knew to fight for a people that we never met and for causes that were not well known.
And the war has never really been called a war. It's never been called a truce. It still is a division between these people. But as a result of the United States and the United Nations' efforts, millions of lives lost--54,000 [Page: H5255]
Americans killed, 100,000 Americans wounded, and close to 9,000 either captured or missing in action--one would say, With all of the blood and money, what did we get out of this?
And that's what we discussed Saturday with the Korean War veterans. What we got out of this was the integrity of the United States of America. That any commitment that we had made to the United Nations not only would we be participating but we would lead, as we did under the direction of General MacArthur.
And today, as we look back and see that, out of the rubble of a country that had been reduced by war, and we take a look at what exists in the northern part, as this division still exists today, in Communist North Korea, we have seen a people that had no jobs, no homes, no resources, but they did have hope.
Out of the South Korean hope and dream came a nation, a new nation, a nation that demonstrated what democratic people can do; an economy was built, and a friendship and a partnership with the United States and freedom-loving people all over the world.
So today, we don't just say as Korean veterans that we know where Korea is. We say that no matter how little a part we played, that we can look back and be proud as Americans that we have, in a small part, been possible to see this small nation become a world power, not only in terms of its military, but its friendship in terms of America's national defense; not only in terms of friendship, but being one of our wonderful trading partners that provides jobs for Koreans and Americans.
So it only makes sense, as a great country of ours that still has the scars of the Civil War, that we should want Koreans, North and South, to find some way to seek unity, to find some way to understand the values of democracy, to find some way that the thing that democracies are willing to fight and die for exists in that peninsula.
I want to specifically thank Hannah Kim of my office for doing what staff does for all of us in getting people even from the other body to understand how important this was to the President and to the Congress; and, of course, to the Speaker's staff, who worked closely with Chairman Royce--that's Mike Sommers and Dave Schnittger. And on the other side of the Capitol, Todd Womack, chief of staff of Senator Corker, and Mike Henry and his gang, as chief of staff of Senator Tim
And on behalf of all of the veterans, I can tell you, as I yield my time back to the chairman, that we all have felt that America really did love us; they just needed an opportunity to express it.
So we thank you for this resolution. It's not just for me and Koreans, but it's also for Korean Americans. So many Asians, and especially Korean Americans, they love Korea, but they love our country best.
Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of House Concurrent Resolution 41, as amended, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Let me say, first of all, that I want to thank my colleague and friend from New York, Congressman Rangel, for his service to our country in the Korean War; also, for his long service in the House of Representatives and for offering this important resolution.
If you grew up in New York, as I did, and you grew up in politics, everyone knows who Charlie Rangel is, anyplace in New York--New York City or New York State. And now we actually have adjoining districts, back-to-back districts. He obviously means so much to so many people, and I'm proud to call him my colleague and even more proud to call him my friend. So I want to thank Congressman Rangel, who sponsored this legislation. I want to thank our chairman, Ed Royce, for
his leadership as well on this resolution.
What this does is H.Con.Res 41 recognizes the historical importance of the Korean War, which ended 60 years ago this past weekend. The resolution also affirms the strong bonds between the United States and the Republic of Korea which were forged in blood during the Korean War.
During that conflict, nearly 1.8 million American soldiers served in the theater to defend freedom and democracy. Sadly, almost 55,000 were killed, over 100,000 were wounded, and about 8,000 were listed as missing in action or prisoners of war.
Just as I thank Congressman Rangel, my good friend, I want to also say that the House has other Korean War veterans in the House--Representative John Conyers, Representative Sam Johnson, and Representative Howard Coble. Charlie Rangel and all the other Korean War veterans in the House I just mentioned all deserve our recognition and sincere thanks.
From the ruins of that conflict 60 years ago, we've seen the rise of a strong alliance between the United States and South Korea, the emergence of South Korea as one of the major economies of the world and a leading trading partner of the United States.
This past January, I visited South Korea with Chairman Royce, where we had an opportunity to meet South Korea's new President--and we also met her when she came here and spoke before the joint session of Congress a few months ago--and we also met with other senior officials when we were in Seoul. Based on these conversations, I can tell you that the U.S.-South Korea relationship has never been stronger. With the continued threat posed by North Korea, the U.S.-Korea alliance is needed
more than ever to safeguard peace and stability in that region of the world.
More than 28,000 American armed services personnel serve in Korea today, and Chairman Royce and I met many of those people when we were over in Korea. And just as Korean War veterans fought for freedom, so, too, do these current-day defenders stand ready to help protect freedom on the Korean Peninsula and throughout the region.
So I urge my colleagues to support this resolution, and I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. ROYCE. Well, Mr. Speaker, I would close my remarks by saying that I rise in strong support of this resolution.
I'd like to add my voice to others grateful for the sacrifices so many Americans made to protect the freedom of South Korea. And I again acknowledge the four Members of this House--Congressman Charlie Rangel, John Conyers, Sam Johnson, and Howard Coble--the veterans of that war, to thank them for their service in the Armed Forces.
I commend Congressman Rangel for offering this resolution here on the 60th anniversary of this special relationship that we have with South Korea. We recall that 22 nations came together to defend the Republic of Korea, and fighting stopped 3 years later with an armistice that still remains in place. 5.7 million Americans served during that conflict. As noted, the casualties were 56,000, if you count those missing and presumed dead. Over 100,000 Americans were wounded in that war. And
140,000 South Koreas were killed in action, many of whom fought side by side with American forces for the cause of freedom. But when you calculate the more than 3 million Korean civilians killed in that conflict, you begin to appreciate the enormity of the human loss.
The heroic deeds of these servicemen, both Korean and American, laid the foundation for that alliance that we speak of here that has lasted some 60 years, but also brought relative stability, as Mr. Rangel pointed out, to northeast Asia, and certainly laid that foundation for the prosperity that we see in Seoul and around the country today.
Yet Korea remains a divided peninsula. This is a calamity for the Korean people. The United States and South Korea have spent much of the last 20 years offering to engage North Korea with aid, with trade, and with diplomacy. All of these initiatives, unfortunately, have failed. And the North Korean response? Besides its aggressive behavior towards South Korea, the regime there continues to develop nuclear weapons, to test missiles, and to supply weapons to countries like Iran and Syria.
Mr. Chairman, we have tried many strategies. I think only one has worked, really, and that was financial
pressure. I recall in 2005 when an Under Secretary of the Treasury caught North Korea counterfeiting $100 bills, so what he did was used the power of the U.S. financial system to cut off [Page: H5256]
Kim Jong Il's access to his vast offshore wealth. And while the North Korean people were starving at the time, as you know, the country's dictator had billions of dollars stashed away in foreign banks that suddenly he did not have access anymore to that money when the
sanctions were put on the Banco Delta Asia. Blocking those accounts denied Kim Jong Il the cash he needed to sustain that vast police state, to sustain that million-man army, to pay for his nuclear weapons and his luxurious lifestyle.
For a while, the world had his attention. For a while, he wanted to come back to the table. I think that approach worked. I suspect North Korea will only change when it's forced to change, and I think we must resurrect a successful strategy of financial pressure.
But, Mr. Speaker, today what we do, what we dedicate ourselves to is recognizing the 60th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement of the Korean War. Importantly, this resolution not only honors the service and sacrifices of the members of the Armed Forces, but it also reaffirms our commitment to the U.S.-Korea alliance. And this resolution sends a message that the U.S. goal remains that which thousands of Americans, including four of our Members, fought for; that goal remains peace on the Korean
I urge my colleagues to support this resolution, and I yield back the balance of my time.