Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

USIS Washington File

16 June 2000

Text: Representative Tony Hall June 15 Remarks on Korean Summit

(Calls for lifting of economic sanctions against North Korea) (1070)
Representative Tony Hall (Democrat of Ohio) said in an extension of
remarks in the House of Representatives June 15 that South Korean
President Kim Dae Jung should be generous in providing food and
medicine to North Korea.
Hall, who has visited North Korea to assess the famine situation there
over the past few years, also urged North Korea's Chairman Kim Jong Il
to help families separated by the Korean War to reunite.
"I hope that President Kim will be generous in providing the tangible
necessities -- food, fertilizer, medicines -- that will help so many
people in the north," Hall said.
He added that he hopes "that Chairman Kim will continue to demonstrate
courage and confidence in helping separated families reunite" and
"that Chairman Kim will take the military steps needed to reassure
Koreans living in the south, and U.S. troops stationed along the
border, that the years ahead will be peaceful ones."
The United States, Hall said, "has an important role to play in
supporting this extraordinary peace initiative."
Hall then called for the lifting of economic sanctions against North
Korea.
"I hope the United States will continue to respond generously to the
United Nations' relief efforts, and that we will expand our
relationship with North Korea's people in other ways," he said.
Following is the text:
(begin text)
KOREAN SUMMITT -- HON. TONY P. HALL
(Extension of Remarks - June 15, 2000)
HON. TONY P. HALL
in the House of Representatives
THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2000
Mr. HALL of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, I rise to mark the historic occasion of
the summit between President Kim Dae Jung of the Republic of Korea,
and Chairman Kim Jong Il of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Much has been written about this unprecedented meeting between the
leaders of the two Koreas; what has happened has encouraged not only
Korean people, but those of us who are concerned about human rights
and humanitarian matters as well. And I hope the course these leaders
chart in the months ahead will be a model for other former adversaries
to follow.
A reconciliation like the one that has now begun in Pyongyang holds
great promise for expanding freedom and prosperity for Korean people
on both sides of their border. That is something that Koreans have
longed for; it is also something that many Americans are eager to
see--especially the hundreds of thousands of Korean-Americans who have
enriched the communities of our Nation, and the tens of thousands of
active-duty military men and women, and their families.
I first met President Kim when he was living in exile in the United
States. Together with many of our colleagues and former colleagues, I
tried to help him with the work he was doing to promote human rights
for his people. While I have not met Chairman Kim, I have worked with
his people on the humanitarian projects that have been an important
focus for the DPRK in recent years. So I have a special appreciation
for Koreans' and Korean-Americans' sense that this moment is a moving
one.
Still, I don't think any outsider can understand how Korean people
feel this week. It's hard to imagine how much those in the north and
the south have suffered--from food shortages in the north,
human-rights concerns in the south, and for both the pain of being
torn from their families and their countrymen.
I hope that President Kim will be generous in providing the tangible
necessities -- food, fertilizer, medicines -- that will help so many
people in the north. I hope that Chairman Kim will continue to
demonstrate courage and confidence in helping separated families
reunite. As an American, I also hope that Chairman Kim will take the
military steps needed to reassure Koreans living in the south, and
U.S. troops stationed along the border, that the years ahead will be
peaceful ones.
As important as the specific steps that have come out of this summit
are, though, the most important long-term result will be this first
step toward healing this divided nation.
Mr. Speaker, the United States has an important role to play in
supporting this extraordinary peace initiative. I strongly believe we
should lift economic sanctions against North Korea, as President
Clinton promised to do nine months ago. I think we should accept
Koreans' leadership in the decisions we make together as long-time
allies. And I hope the United States will continue to respond
generously to the United Nations' relief efforts, and that we will
expand our relationship with North Korea's people in other ways.
I have visited many places where people are hurting. One thing I have
learned is that -- no matter where they live -- people who survive
terrible hardships have one thing in common: they remember who helped
them through their difficulties, and they cannot forget who found
excuses to let their friends and families die.
I have been especially proud of our country in refusing to let the
political differences we have with North Korea prevent us from
upholding our humanitarian tradition of responding generously to the
people in need there. Now, with this summit, Koreans in the south have
demonstrated to their brothers that they are not going to stand by and
let them suffer. I hope the past three days will create the goodwill
the leaders of these nations need to improve the lives of their people
over time -- and to ease the serious suffering of Koreans in the north
immediately.
Both North Korea and South Korea have made tremendous progress in a
very short time. It is easy to forget the economic strides South Korea
has made in the past 30 years, and the diplomatic achievements North
Korea has made as it re-orients its economy away from its longstanding
alliances and toward a future that is marked by better relations with
other nations.
The work ahead will not be easy, but Koreans I know are some of the
toughest, hardest-working people I have ever met. I am confident that,
if they set themselves to this work, they will accomplish it. And I
hope that our country will contribute to their success.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list