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Connolly, Wilson Lead Bipartisan Letter to Secretary Blinken and Secretary Austin Reaffirming the U.S.-Republic of Korea Alliance Ahead of Third Summit for Democracy

Congressmen Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA), together with fellow Korea Caucus Co-Chairs Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Ami Bera (D-CA), sent a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reaffirming the U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) alliance ahead of the Third Summit for Democracy. The thirteen signatories commend and applaud the ROK for hosting the important gathering to be held in Seoul from March 18th-20th under the theme of “Democracy for Future Generations.” The letter recognizes that the Republic of Korea hosts next week’s summit amidst the backdrop of ongoing destabilizing provocations by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The letter further notes that the regime of Kim Jong Un has continued to threaten “subjugation” and “annihilation” against the people of South Korea and escalated hostilities, firing shells, missiles, and launching a solid-fuel ICBM in December 2023. The co-signers express their grave concern regarding the deepening relationship between Russia and the DPRK and highlight the important commitments within the “Washington Declaration”—as agreed to by President Biden and President Yoon Suk Yeol April 26th, 2023—to include the establishment of a new Nuclear Consultative Group (NCG) and to strengthen extended deterrence.

The full list of 13 signatories to the letter include Representatives Joe Wilson (R-SC), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Mike Kelly (R-PA), Ami Bera (D-CA), James Moylan (R-Guam), Don Bacon (R-NE), Dan Goldman (D-NY), Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-American Samoa), Marilyn Strickland (D-WA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Michelle Steel (R-CA), Donald Beyer (D-VA) and Michael Lawler (R-NY).

The signed version of the letter is available here.

Background: Representatives Connolly and Wilson introduced H.R.5532 - Russia-North Korea Cooperation Sanctions Act that provides for the imposition of sanctions with respect to North Korea’s support for Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine. H.R.5532 was marked up and passed in the House Foreign Affairs Committee by unanimous consent.
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