News


Tracking Number:  143265

Title:  "Solarz Says Korea Resolution Designed to Allay Concerns." Remarks about Korea-US relations resolution by Representative Solarz and others. (900618)

Source:  CONGRESSIONAL RECORD (PERIODICAL), Jun 12
Date:  19900618

Text:
*EPF104

06/18/90 * SOLARZ SAYS KOREA RESOLUTION DESIGNED TO ALLAY CONCERNS (Text: H.Con.Res. 325 in Congressional Record) (3390)

Washington -- Concern that announced U.S. troops cuts in Korea might be perceived in Pyongyang as an indication that the United States was no longer prepared to live up to the responsibilities of its mutual security treaty with the Republic of Korea led to the drafting of House Concurrent Resolution 325, according to Rep. Stephen Solarz (Democrat of New York).

"The primary purpose of this resolution," Solarz told the House June 12, "is to lay those utterly unfounded and unjustifiable concerns to rest. The resolution makes it clear that we continue to have a very strong interest in the preservation of peace on the Korean Peninsula and that we intend to fulfill our obligations in that regard to the Republic of Korea."

Following is the text of remarks about the resolution by Solarz and other members of Congress as published in the June 12 Congressional Record: (begin text)

Measure Debated by SOLARZ (D-NY) -- H.Con.Res. 325 KOREAN MUTUAL DEFENSE TREATY (CR page H-3466, 8 lines)

Mr. SOLARZ. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 325) expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States remains firmly committed to its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Republic of Korea and is steadfastly dedicated to the promotion of security and peace on the Korean peninsula.

The Clerk read as follows:

Text of Measure -- H.Con.Res. 325

Resolution Concerning the Mutual Defense Treaty with the Republic of Korea (CR page H-3466, 50 lines)

H. Con. Res. 325

Expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States remains firmly committed to its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Republic of Korea and is steadfastly dedicated to the promotion of security and peace on the Korean peninsula.

Whereas the Korean people earnestly desire a peaceful democratic reunification of their divided country;

GE 2 EPF104 Whereas peace and stability on the Korean peninsula are essential to regional and world peace and stability;

Whereas the Republic of Korea has undergone a peaceful transition to a democratic form of government;

Whereas the economic growth of the Asia-Pacific region is of great significance to the world economy;

Whereas the Republic of Korea, as a leading economic power in the region, is an increasingly important trading partner of the United States;

Whereas trade between the United States and the Republic of Korea has grown to the point where the Republic of Korea is the 7th largest market for United States goods;

Whereas the North Korean Government has never renounced its ambition of reunifying the Korean peninsula under Communist control;

Whereas the North Korean Government maintains a trained army of one million troops and has deployed many of its forces close to the Demilitarized Zone, thereby posing a potentially serious threat to the security of the Republic of Korea;

Whereas the Republic of Korea has taken significant steps to contribute to its own self-defense and to increase its share of the burden of maintaining the United States forces in Korea;

Whereas despite these steps, an indigenous balance of power has not yet been achieved on the Korean peninsula, and North Korean forces possess significant quantitative advantages in military personnel and many categories of weapons;

Whereas in light of this imbalance of indigenous forces, the United States has deployed forces on the Korean peninsula for deterrence since the Korean War;

Whereas the United States has recently announced that it will remove approximately 2,000 Air Force personnel and 5,000 ground troops from Korea over the next 1 to 3 years; and

Whereas North Korea has not yet responded positively to proposals of the Republic of Korea and United Nations Command to lessen political and military tensions and institute confidence building measures: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That it is the sense of the congress that, notwithstanding the announced reductions in the number of

GE 3 EPF104 United States troops in the Republic of Korea, the United States --

(1) remains firmly committed to its Mutual Defense Treaty with the Republic of Korea, and

(2) is steadfastly dedicated to the promotion of security and peace on the Korean peninsula.

The SPEAKER pro tempore: Pursuant to the rule, a second is not required on this motion.

The gentleman from New York (Mr. Solarz) will be recognized for 20 minutes, and the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Broomfield) will be recognized for 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from New York (Mr. Solarz).

Mr. SOLARZ. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. SOLARZ asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. SOLARZ. Madam Speaker, I think I can fairly say that this resolution enjoys very strong bipartisan support. I certainly appreciate the willingness on the part of my very good friends on the other side of the aisle, the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Broomfield), the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Leach), and others, to facilitate the expeditious consideration of this resolution.

I understand this resolution also enjoys the very strong support of the administration. Indeed, all Americans can support this resolution. What it does is to express and to reaffirm the very strong commitment on the part of the United States to the defense and security of the Republic of Korea.

A short while ago, in response to the changing international climate, the administration announced that it was to withdraw approximately 7,000 American troops from South Korea over the next few years. While this still leaves approximately 36,000 American troops in that country, it nevertheless raised some understandable anxieties on the part of our friends in Seoul about the extent to which this might signal a diminution in American interest in the security of South Korea. Specifically, there was concern that the announced troops cuts might be perceived in P'yongyang as an indication of the fact that the United States was no longer prepared to live up to its responsibilities within the framework of our mutual security treaty with South Korea to come to their defense in the event that there should be another war on the Korean Peninsula.

GE 4 EPF104

The primary purpose of this resolution is to lay those utterly unfounded and unjustifiable concerns to rest. The resolution makes it clear that we continue to have a very strong interest in the preservation of peace on the Korean Peninsula and that we intend to fulfill our obligations in that regard to the Republic of Korea.

Over the course of the last 3 1/2 decades, ever since the end of the Korean war, we have managed to preserve a fragile peace on the Korean Peninsula, in no small measure because of the clear and unequivocal character of the American defense commitment to South Korea. The fact of the matter is that North Korea continues to enjoy some significant conventional military advantages vis-a-vis South Korea. They have substantial superiority not only in terms of manpower, but in terms of materiel as well. Without the continued presence of American defense forces in South Korea, without the continued commitment on the part of the United States to come to the defense of South Korea in the vent it should be attacked again, it is entirely possible that the leadership in North Korea might conclude that that the time had come to make another effort to reunify the Korean Peninsula by force of arms.

Our country shares the aspirations of all Koreans for the eventual reunification of their country, but we believe, as do virtually all the people in South Korea and I would hope the people of North Korea as well, that the reunification of the Korean Peninsula must come about through peaceful and democratic means, not by force of arms.

The last time there was a war on the Korean Peninsula well over 1 million Koreans lost their lives. The economies of both the North and the South was completely shattered and destroyed. If there should be another war in Korea, I have no doubt that the numbers who would be killed and wounded would quite possibly exceed the casualty levels in the previous conflict. Furthermore, the economic consequences of another war are too catastrophic to even contemplate.

In order to avoid any misperception by North Korea as to American resolve with respect to the security of the Republic of Korea, this resolution restates and reaffirms the historic commitment on the part of the United States to the defense of South Korea and makes it very clear that the modest withdrawals which will be taking place, which have been discussed with our friends in Seoul, can and will be done in a way that will not in any way diminish our effective capacity to contribute to the defense of the Republic of Korea.

Mr. BROOMFIELD. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. Madam Speaker, one of the most important relationships in Asia is the Mutual Defense Treaty between the United States

GE 5 EPF104 and the Republic of Korea. We have fought side by side with the Republic of Korea in war, and we have stood ready to help preserve her freedom in the uneasy truce with North Korea.

However, this important relationship goes far beyond our military ties. It encompasses trade, cultural and educational exchanges, joint business activities, and the common effort to preserve peace and growth in Asia and the Pacific.

Through this partnership and the hard work of the Korean people, South Korea has become one of the free market showcases of Asia. During this entire period of growth and progress, South Korea has continually faced the threat of invasion and terrorism by North Korea. Faced with a 1- million-soldier North Korean military machine, and having over the years experienced the killing of four South Korean cabinet ministers and the bombing of a South Korean commercial airliner, the South Koreans know that the North has lost none of its enthusiasm for bloodshed.

Madam Speaker, as part of our defense and budget cutback, we have withdrawn some of the 45,000 troops stationed in South Korea. Because of this, passage of House Concurrent Resolution 325 has become extremely important. This resolution expresses the sense of the Congress that the United States continues to remain firmly committed to the Mutual Defense Treaty with the Republic of Korea, and that we are dedicated to the promotion of security and peace on the Korean Peninsula.

This is an important message of reassurance for our friends in South Korea, and it continues to put North Korea on notice as to how serious we are. I urge my colleagues to join me in support of this resolution.

Mr. SOLARZ. Madam Speaker, I have no further requests for time, but before I yield back the rest of my time I see that my very good friend, the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Leach) is on his feet, and perhaps the distinguished ranking minority member wishes to yield some of his time to him.

Mr. BROOMFIELD. Madam Speaker, I am very happy to yield 4 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Leach).

Mr. LEACH of Iowa. Madam Speaker, let me just say that it is obvious to all that the relationship between the United States and the Republic of Korea is evolving in all fields: Politically, in terms of the balance of trade, and in security. Over the coming years, according to a Department of Defense White Paper, South Korea is inevitably going to assume an increasing share of its own defense, not only in terms of manpower and cost but also command.

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Nevertheless, the United States remains committed to assisting South Korea, so long as such assistance is both needed and desired by Seoul, to deter aggression on the part of the North. Here it should be pointed out that while the Republic of Korea has steadily moved forward to improve its indigenous capacity for self-defense the military threat from the North itself has not diminished. Pyongyang has increased in an absolute sense its number of combat troops, as well as quantities of modern equipment. North Korea still maintains over a million men in active military duty, compared to 650,000 in the South.

In addition to the blatantly panoplied, and extravagant size of the North Korean military, the forward deployment of its armed forces is itself threatening -- constituting what amounts to jumping off points for an invasion of the South. Given the clandestine tunneling by the North, its assiduous stockpiling of war material, and other evidence of aggressive military planning, we can assume that there will be scant warning time of an invasion across the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

North Korea is also widely believed to be actively trying to produce an atomic bomb, and may even be on the threshold of doing so. This would be a development of the most unfortunate character, one that would have very serious consequences for the development of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.

As if these salient and inescapable military facts were not enough alone to warrant extreme vigilance in the councils of state in Seoul and Washington, there is the matter of North Korea's leadership and its intentions for the future. In this regard, the record of North Korean diplomacy over the last several decades does not give rise to any sense that Pyongyang's extremism is mellowing with age. Quite the contrary. There are, in fact, no indications that North Korea's unrepentant Stalinist dictator -- Kim Il-Sung -- has abandoned his goal of uniting Korea under Communist rule, by force of arms if need be.

Therefore, the United States has done what it can to provide various military technologies, command and control, intelligence, logistics support, and most importantly, our commitment under the 1954 Mutual Defense Treaty to serve as a deterrent against North Korean attack. Should that deterrent ever fail, the United States remains fully prepared to join hands with the South to preserve its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

On a more upbeat note, this spring has seen South Korea truly emerge as an active player on the world stage. President Roh Tae Woo's recent visit to Japan resulted in firm demonstrations of resolve on the part of both Seoul and Tokyo, in the words of President Roh, to "forge a new era of friendship and cooperation."

GE 7 EPF104

Just last week, President Roh met with the Soviet Union's Mikhail Gorbachev in San Francisco. While it is not yet clear whether formal diplomatic relations between Seoul and Moscow are imminent, it does look as though diplomatic recognition -- for the first time in 86 years -- is at least impending.

Indeed, over the past 2 years South Korea has established diplomatic relations with every East European country except Albania and East Germany, with that latter omission soon to be of no practical consequence. We in the United States can only hope that Seoul's Nordpolitik with Pyongyang will, over time, prove as fruitful and effective.

Not only in these diplomatic achievements, therefore, but in other areas as well, South Korea has much to be proud of. It has established and continues to perfect representative democracy. Its economy is the envy of many states, not only in Asia, but around the world. It has a well educated, hard working, and increasingly prosperous populace.

To conclude, since the Korean conflict of 1950-53, in which America itself suffered over 130,000 casualties with 30,000 killed, the United States has stood by our South Korean ally to deter aggression from North Korea. Our bilateral relationship remains strong, and will continue to remain strong even as it evolves to reflect an ever-changing world scene. We value this relationship, both government to government and people to people, and we in the United States continue to view our interest in freedom on the Korean Peninsula a common obligation and concern.

Mr. BROOMFIELD. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Lagomarsino).

(Mr. LAGOMARSINO asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. LAGOMARSINO. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of House Concurrent Resolution 325, a resolution reasserting the firm commitment of the United States to the mutual defense treaty with the Republic of Korea.

The Republic of Korea represents an impressive success story both for the economic miracle it has achieved in development for its people and for the security role it has played for helping to ensure the stability of the east Asian region.

With democracy and reform sweeping away totalitarian Marxist governments in most of the world, the anachronistic regime of Kim Il-Sung continues to pose a military threat to the South. The North Koreans have failed to respond to numerous overtures intended to lessen tensions between the North and the South. The recent meeting of Soviet President

GE 8 EPF104 Gorbachev with South Korean President Roh marks an historic opening between those two nations. It signals improved relations and demonstrates the degree to which the North Korean government is out of step with contemporary political developments.

As a close and valued ally to the United States, the Republic of Korea deserves continued United States support and friendship. The mutual defense treaty between our two nations is a firm symbol of that relationship, and it is appropriate that we in the Congress reaffirm our commitment to promoting democracy, peace, and security in South Korea. I think it is especially appropriate to do so at this particular time so as to make it absolutely clear to the North Korean Government that it should not take action against South Korea based on the premise that it might be losing the support of the U.S.S.R. and therefore should strike before that happens.

I urge my colleagues to give their strong support to House Concurrent Resolution 325.

Mr. BROOMFIELD. Madam Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New York (Mr. Solomon).

Mr. SOLOMON. Madam Speaker, I will not take all of the time. I will try to be brief. Madam Speaker, I just want to, first of all, commend the chairman of the subcommittee, the gentleman from New York (Mr. Solarz), as well as the ranking Republican on the full committee and the ranking Republican on the subcommittee for bringing this resolution to the floor. It is timely, and it is terribly, terribly important.

South Korea, for all of these 40 years, has been one of the strongest links in our chain of defense for this country, and, whereas Korea can say that if there was no United States of America there would be no Korea, we Americans might very well say the same thing, because it is Korea that has been on the front lines for lo these many years when communism was spiraling all over this world.

Yes, we do pay respect to them for the great work they have done in helping us to defend the free world. While we are at it, let me just pay tribute again to those 5.7 million Americans who served in the Korean war between the years of 1950 through 1953. Most of those people are still alive. Fifty-four thousand of them are not because they died in battle, captivity, or wounded after war.

I would remind this body that back in 1986, we passed legislation on this floor that came out of the Committee on Foreign Affairs which I happened to be a member at the time which established the Korean War Memorial. Since that time we have been able to raise through private donations over

GE 9 EPF104 5.2 million dollars for a Korean War Memorial that will be built across the Mall from the Vietnam Memorial as it exists today. We still have a long way to go. We only have until October 1991, which is not that far away, to finish raising those funds, and I would just remind the Members that those contributions are still being accepted by the Korean War Memorial Fund here in Washington, DC.

Again, I thank the gentleman for bringing this resolution to the floor, and I thank the chairman of the full committee.

Mr. FASCELL. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong support of House Concurrent Resolution 325, expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States remains committed to the defense of the Korean Peninsula. This resolution sends an important signal at a crucial time in international relations. While most of the rest of the world basks in the glow of the end of the cold war and United States citizens look forward to the end of confrontation with the Soviet Union, Korea remains one of the world's potential hot spots. As the resolution points out, North Korea retains over 1 million men under arms, deployed provocatively close to the 38th parallel dividing the peninsula.

In marked contrast to the liberalization occurring in Eastern Europe, the renegade regime in Pyongyang seems sadly impervious to change. Its substantial conventional military capabilities, past history of terrorism, and rumored clandestine nuclear weapons program, coupled with unswervingly hostile rhetoric, give no observers of Korean affairs cause for much optimism. Against this background, the mere fact of ongoing discussions between North and South, and between the United States and North Korea in Beijing, is remarkable. For its part, the United States has and will continue to stand behind South Korea in its efforts to develop more people-to-people contacts and confidence-building measures with the North. For the near term, it appears the best outcome will be achieved through limited exchanges facilitated by the Red Cross and through increased, if informal, economic cooperation and trade. These developments should be enthusiastically supported by the surrounding nations and other interested in Korean affairs.

Despite the tense situation on the peninsula, South Korea made its own peaceful transition to democracy. One of the elements which made that historic occasion possible was the defense relationship with the United States and the United States commitment to defend South Korea from aggression. With help from the United States, South Korea has become much better able to defend itself from aggression, and its military has become one of the finest and most professional in the world. Successful relationships like the United States-Korea security partnership must, however, change with the times. The United States after consultation with

* PAGE 10 PAGE 10 EPF104 its Korean allies, announced it would reduce from 10 to 15 percent of its forces in the Republic of Korea over the next few years. What made this possible was the increased ability of Korea to perform many of the missions heretofore assigned to United States forces, and the close planning relationship our two countries have developed over the years. As the resolution notes, this reduction of United States forces in no way diminishes the United States commitment to peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Madam Speaker, I commend this resolution to all Members, and urge their enthusiastic support.

Mr. BROOMFIELD. Madam Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Mr. SOLARZ. Madam Speaker, I have no further requests for time, and I yield back the balance of my time.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mrs. Boxer). The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from New York (Mr. Solarz) that the House suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution, House Concurrent Resolution 325.

The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor thereof) the rules were suspended and the concurrent resolution was agreed to.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

Mr. SOLARZ. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on House Concurrent Resolution 325, the concurrent resolution just agreed to.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from New York?

There was no objection.

(end text) NNNN


File Identification:  06/18/90, EP-104
Product Name:  Wireless File
Product Code:  WF
Keywords:  SOLARZ, STEPHEN J; KOREA (SOUTH)-US RELATIONS; FORCE & TROOP LEVELS; TREATIES & AGREEMENTS; SECURITY MEASURES; KOREA (SOUTH)/Defense & Military; CONGRESS, US-FOREIGN AFFAIRS; BROOMFIELD, WILLIAM; LEACH, JIM; LAGORMARSINO, ROBE
Document Type:  TXT
Thematic Codes:  1EA
Target Areas:  EA
PDQ Text Link:  143265