|3:03 PM EDT||
John Boozman, R-AR 3rd
Mr. BOOZMAN. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I rise in support of this measure and would like to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel), a distinguished veteran of the Korean War for introducing it. We truly do appreciate your service to our country.
Next week, on June 25, represents the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War. The lesson of Korea is the need for constant vigilance in the face of external aggression.
Many link Kim Il Sung's decision to suddenly and deliberately attack the Republic of Korea in the early morning hours of a rainy Sunday morning to mixed signals coming from Washington, for then-Secretary of State Dean Acheson had declared only a few months before that South Korea lay outside the defense perimeter of the United States.
North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung reportedly took that as a green light to move forward with his invasion plans. This invasion resulted in between 1 and 2 million Korean dead, and over 50,000 dead and more than 90,000 wounded members of the U.S. military.
The lesson of June 25 is clear: do not equivocate with aggressors, do not pander to dictators.
Harry Truman, in notifying the American people of his decision to deploy U.S. forces to Korea, stated that North Korea, in solidarity with its Communist allies ``has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations.''
Sixty years later, as North Korea engages in further armed aggression by deliberately torpedoing a South Korean naval vessel and murdering 46 South Korean sailors, it is clear that the United States and its allies must act with firm resolve to prevent an escalation of violence in and around the Korean peninsula.
As we honor the valiant dead who fell in Korea, let us resolve to preserve that peace and prosperity for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. The events of the last six decades remind us all that the sacrifices of our soldiers and our United Nations allies were worthwhile.
One only has to compare the thriving, democratic vitality of the Republic of Korea with the impoverished and repressed hell that is North Korea to recognize the value and the purpose of that valiant sacrifice.
I reserve the balance of my time.