Congresswoman Frankel Returns from Visit to South Korea and Japan
WEST PALM BEACH, FL – Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-21) has just returned from a week-long bipartisan fact finding and policy discussions sponsored by the Aspen Institute and focused on threat emanating from North Korea’s nuclear program. The bipartisan delegation visited the U.S. Naval Base at Yokosuka Japan and the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. The group met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and South Korean Minister Yun Byung-se as well as parliamentarians from Japan and South Korea. Participants in the discussions included high ranking Japanese and South Korean military officials, scholars and current and former officials from the U.S., China, Japan, and South Korea. The visit concluded with the delegation’s meeting with a North Korean defector.
“A strong unwavering relationship between the U.S. and its allies Japan and South Korea is necessary for the national and economic security of all three countries. Japan and South Korea are two of America's greatest trading partners and home to important U.S. military bases. A North Korea that has the capability to use a nuclear weapon that can reach an American city or those of an ally poses a grave challenge as the U.S. seeks to preserve peace and stability in the region.
In this regard, the United States, in consultation with Japan and South Korea, must explore all reasonable economic, diplomatic and defensive actions such as cyber that would prevent North Korea from developing such a capability. This includes further engagement with and economic pressure on China, which North Korea depends upon for 90 percent of its trade. A military strike is an untenable option that would most likely result in a devastating conventional military attack by North Korea on Seoul South Korea, a megacity with a population of over 25 million including tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel.”