July 26, 2013

Kaine Introduces Resolution Encouraging Peace And Reunification On The Korean Peninsula

Joining Four Remaining Korean War Veterans in Congress to Mark 60th Anniversary of Armistice

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced legislation encouraging peace and reunification on the Korean Peninsula, in recognition of hundreds of Korean War veterans who will gather in the nation's capital to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. As lead sponsor in the Senate, Sen. Kaine joins the efforts of Reps. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY), John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Sam Johnson (R-TX), and Howard Coble (R-NC), who are the four remaining Korean War Veterans in the U.S. Congress.

"I am proud that the United States has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with South Korea to promote and defend international security, economic prosperity, and the rule of law on the Korean Peninsula," said Kaine. "Progress towards peace and reunification between the two nations would mean greater security and prosperity for the region and the world."

The Korean War broke out when communist North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. Since the outbreak, North Korea has developed a nuclear weapons program and acted aggressively, increasing instability on the Korean Peninsula, and the broader Asia-Pacific region.

This resolution aims to alleviate these tensions by encouraging North Korea to abide by international law and take steps towards denuclearization. In the recent years, North Korea's military provocations and inflammatory rhetoric have heightened tensions between the Two Koreas.

The bill also honors the noble sacrifices of U.S. Armed Forces that served since the start of the Korean War. Today, there are 28,500 American men and women still stationed in South Korea near the Demilitarized Zone, a three-mile wide buffer that is the most heavily armed border in the world.

"As a Korean War veteran, I fought for peace on the Korean Peninsula sixty years ago and have advocated for it since," stated Rangel, the lead sponsor in the House. "It is tragic that millions of people, who share one culture and language, are divided by politics. This resolution reaffirms America's commitment to peace between the Two Koreas through diplomacy."

The Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on July 27, 1953 and the war has technically never ended.  The Two Koreas remain the only divided nation in the world. The division along the 38th parallel has separated more than 10 million South Koreans, including 100,000 Korean-Americans, from their families in the North.

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