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U.S. House adopts resolutions calling for stronger alliance with S. Korea

All News 05:55 November 19, 2020

By Byun Duk-kun

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted two resolutions, both calling for efforts to further strengthen the U.S.-South Korea alliance that they said plays a "crucial role" in ensuring peace in Asia and the world.

One of the resolutions, submitted in April by Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), highlighted the importance of the alliance and contributions made by Korean-Americans in the U.S.

It said the House of Representatives "(1) recognizes the vital role the alliance of the United States and the Republic of Korea plays in promoting peace and security in the Indo-Pacific region; (2) calls for the strengthening and broadening of diplomatic, economic, and security ties between the United States and the Republic of Korea," referring to South Korea by its official name.

The resolution came as the allies this year marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the 1950-53 Korean War. More than 36,000 American soldiers were killed during the war.

The resolution reaffirmed that the U.S.-Korea alliance continues to serve the United States in "advancing American interests and engagement in the region, based on shared commitments of democracy, free market economy, human rights and the rule of law."

Noting the first Korean immigrants arrived in the United States nearly 120 years earlier, in 1903, the resolution also highlighted the vital role of more than 2 million Korean-Americans, who it said "contribute to the diversity and prosperity of our nation, participate in all facets of American life and have made significant contribution to the economic vitality of the United States."

In a separate resolution, submitted in June by Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), the House again celebrated the people-to-people ties between South Korea and the United States and contributions made by Korean-Americans to both countries.

The House "encourages continued close and continuing ties between the people and governments of the two nations, as well as the contributions the near two million Korean-Americans have made to both societies," it said.

The resolution also called for an early conclusion of negotiations between Seoul and Washington for the Special Measures Agreement (SMA), which have stalled due to a large gap over South Korea's share of the cost in maintaining some 28,500 U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula.

The House "urges both countries to prioritize ongoing Special Measures Agreement negotiations and to reach mutually agreeable terms," it said.

Seoul has offered to increase its burden-sharing by up to 13 percent from the US$870 million it paid under last year's agreement, but the U.S. is said to be demanding a 50 percent hike to $1.3 billion per year.

The resolution also called on the U.S. to recommit itself to "ensuring the relationship between the United States and the Republic of Korea continues to grow and thrive into the foreseeable future."


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