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Bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduces resolution welcoming Moon

All News 10:56 June 23, 2017

WASHINGTON, June 22 (Yonhap) -- A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Thursday introduced a resolution welcoming South Korean President Moon Jae-in's upcoming visit to Washington while reaffirming the importance of the alliance and calling for further expanding all-round cooperation.

A total of 19 senators co-introduced the resolution, including John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Armed Services Committee; Ben Cardin (D-MD), ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee; Cory Gardner (R-CO), chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia; and Edward Markey (D-MA), ranking member of the East Asia subcommittee.

"The Senate welcomes His Excellency Moon Jae-in, the President of the Republic of Korea, on his first official visit to the United States," the resolution said, reaffirming the alliance between the two countries as well as the U.S. commitment to South Korea's defense.

U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)

The resolution also called for the two countries to work together to "fully and effectively enforce existing sanctions (on North Korea) and consider the need to take immediate action to pass additional and meaningful new measures."

It also said the Senate urges the two countries to work together to "fully implement all aspects of the U.S.-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement" and urges the two countries to "broaden and deepen the alliance by enhancing cooperation and building new partnerships in the security, economic, energy, scientific, health, education and cultural spheres."

With regard to the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile defense system, the resolution noted Seoul's explanation that it has no intention to reverse deployment commitments as it "implements the domestic procedures to uphold democratic, legal, and procedural legitimacy and transparency."

Diplomatic sources said that the number of sponsors of the resolution is the highest ever for a resolution welcoming a South Korean president or calling for strengthening the alliance between the two countries. Such resolutions usually have four to eight sponsors, they said.

"It's only the second time after that the Senate has introduced a resolution welcoming a foreign leader's visit to the U.S. since the inauguration of the Trump administration," a source said. The first resolution was when seven senators introduced a resolution welcoming Egypt's leader, the source said.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)

jschang@yna.co.kr
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