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U.S. lawmakers introduce bill to prevent unilateral withdrawal from S. Korea defense treaty

All News 05:29 May 28, 2020

By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, May 27 (Yonhap) -- Two U.S. lawmakers have introduced a bill aimed at preventing a U.S. president from withdrawing from international treaties, including the Mutual Defense Treaty with South Korea, without congressional approval.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) introduced the Preventing Actions Undermining Security without Endorsement (PAUSE) Act on May 21, after President Donald Trump announced his intent to withdraw from the Treaty on Open Skies, according to a press release on Markey's website.

"President Trump's reckless withdrawal from the Open Skies Treaty will have a lasting impact on our ability to track Russian military activity that could threaten the interests of the United States and our allies," Markey, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in the release. "Congress can wait no longer to assert our constitutional prerogative."

Panetta added that Trump's decision is "completely counter" to U.S. national security interests and demonstrates "continued disregard for our alliances and arms control accords."

The PAUSE Act requires the secretaries of defense and state, in consultation with the director of national intelligence, to certify to Congress the justification for a withdrawal from or termination of any international treaty 180 days before initiation.

It also requires upon certification that both the Senate and the House of Representatives approve the move by passage of a joint resolution.

"President Trump has indicated that he could take similar action as he did today with Open Skies, to withdraw or terminate U.S. involvement in the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO), the 1953 Mutual Defense Treaty with South Korea, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia (New START), and other treaties that the Senate has ratified," stated the press release.

The text of the bill notes that the Mutual Defense Treaty was "born from mutual sacrifice during the Korean War, is based on shared values and interests, and remains critical to the national security of the United States nearly 7 decades after its signing."

This AFP file photo shows Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). (Yonhap)


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