Bipartisan group of U.S. House members visits the National Assembly
- Jun 27, 2023
- Speaker Kim notes Korea’s development in the ROK-US alliance from a recipient country to a donor nation
- Speaker Kim mentions a plan to visit the U.S. in early June to form a bilateral Parliamentarian’s Union
- Chairman Buchanan expresses hopes for a better world through bilateral cooperation in the democracy arena
A bipartisan delegation of U.S. House members on May 1 visited the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea and met with Speaker Kim Jin-pyo. The delegation, led by Vern Buchanan, Chairman of the House Democracy Partnership (HDP), and Speaker Kim discussed ways to further develop the 70-year-long ROK-US alliance and strengthen bilateral ties.
* The House Democracy Partnership (HDP) is a bipartisan commission of the U.S. House of Representatives established in March 2005 that works with parliaments worldwide to support the development of effective, independent, and responsive legislatures.
Speaker Kim noted, “The visit by the U.S. bipartisan House members’ delegation to the ROK shortly after Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s April 24-30 visit to the U.S. for a summit with President Joe Biden vividly shows how important the bilateral alliance is to the U.S. Congress. Shaped over the past 70 years into one of the most successful alliances, both countries have helped each other, and the Republic of Korea has transformed itself from a recipient country to a donor country.”
Kim continued by saying: “The free trade agreement between the ROK and the U.S., actively supported by HDP Chairman Buchanan, is opening a new chapter for the next decade. Trade between the two nations has expanded by nearly 70 percent over the past decade, and Korea’s investment in the U.S. is growing rapidly, mainly in key industries such as semiconductors, batteries and electric vehicles, demonstrating the free trade agreement’s enlarged role in the economic growth of both countries.”
Chairman Buchanan responded by saying that Korea’s economic growth over the past 70 years can be described as a miracle, and expressed high expectations for the development of the bilateral relationship and of the ROK-US free-trade pact advancing to a new level.
In conveying hopes for cooperation with the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, Chairman Buchanan noted that the House Democracy Partnership has partnered with 22 legislatures worldwide in support of the development of democracy.
Speaker Kim agreed with the need, saying: “It is important to work together on agenda items that are supported by parliamentarians of the two countries, such as the HDP. By creating a Korea-USA Parliamentarians’ Union in both parliaments, with subcommittees like the HDP, we can help each other and adopt the same viewpoint.”
Kim added, “The National Assembly passed the Special Resolution for Steady Development of ROK-USA Diplomatic Relations in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Bilateral Alliance in February*, in accordance with the pledge by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during an official visit in August 2022, and the Special Resolution calls for the creation of the Korea-USA Parliamentarian’s Union in both parliaments.” The Speaker also appealed to the U.S. that the Parliamentarian’s Union can provide leadership in bilateral and global issues if the U.S. Congress agrees to it during the National Assembly’s scheduled June visit to the U.S.
* The bipartisan resolution reaffirming U.S. support for South Korea in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the US-ROK alliance was introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives on April 24, and then adopted by the U.S. Senate on April 26.
Chairman Buchanan agreed with the statement, saying that the United States and the Republic of Korea will be able to make the world better by working together in the democracy arena. He then expressed hopes that Speaker Kim would visit the U.S. and promised a welcome party arranged by him and Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
From the U.S. side, the meeting attendees included House members Norma Torres, Claudia Tenney, Anna Paulina Luna, John Rutherford, Carlos Antonio Gimenez, Jenniffer González-Colón, and Terri Sewell; Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives Cheryl L. Johnson; and the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul Joy M. Sakurai. Attendees from the Korean side included Chairman of the National Defense Committee Han Ki-ho; National Assembly members Kim Seok-ki, Shin Won-sik, and Kim Byung-joo; Chief of Staff to the Speaker Park Kyung-mee; Senior Secretary for Public Relations Ko Jae-hak; Ambassador Jeong Woon-jin; and Director General of the International Affairs and Protocol Bureau Hwang Seung-gi.