Recognizing the Importance of the United States-Republic of Korea-Japan Trilateral Relationship

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 7, 2016
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Foreign Affairs


Mr. SALMON. Mr. Speaker, today I rise in support of House Resolution 634, recognizing the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea- Japan trilateral relationship to counter North Korean threats and nuclear proliferation, and to ensure regional security and human rights.

I thank Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for their support of this legislation as well as all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for this bipartisan effort.

As we have all seen, North Korea continues its provocations, which we saw again as recently as 2 days ago, when Kim Jong-Un's regime launched three more missiles during the final day of the G20 summit. Not only did this fly in the face of multiple U.N. resolutions, but was a calculated challenge to the international order.

The administration's strategy of strategic patience with North Korea clearly has not worked. What is also clear is that we must work proactively with our allies to counter North Korean threats and nuclear proliferation.

The Republic of Korea-Japan relationship has improved dramatically in recent years as each partner has recognized the shared interests and values of the other, demonstrated by the deep and longstanding alliances each of them has with the United States. Our three nations working together as one against North Korea's threats will foster improved regional security and secure fundamental human rights for the North Korean people.

I have no doubt that North Korea will continue its provocations, and we must stand firm with our allies to counter its aggression. This resolution puts forth congressional intent to bolster the trilateral relationship and offers further support for regional ballistic missile defense systems.

Our alliances with Korea and Japan are the cornerstones of peace and security in northeast Asia. We enjoy robust security with both countries, from the forward deployment of assets, to joint military exercises, to information and intelligence sharing. In fact, Korea recently elected to deploy, as Mr. Royce just referred to, the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, known as THAAD, which will support existing U.S. and Japanese assets in the region in our mission to deter North Korean aggression. In light of North Korea's ongoing nuclear tests and missile launches, it is imperative that the United States work even more closely with these allies to counter this persistent threat.

I introduced this resolution to reaffirm the importance of the trilateral relationship in this tense and unstable time. It supports regional allied responses to North Korean threats and human rights abuses, and calls for expansion of information sharing and other diplomatic relationships between our three countries.

This is a very important measure for the security of our homeland; that of our allies, Korea and Japan; and the international community at large. I encourage all Members to support this legislation.