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Rubio Comments On South Korean President’s Visit To Washington

Oct 14, 2015 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C.– U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Issues, today issued the following statement regarding South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s visit to Washington this week:
 
“This week, as President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea visits Washington, President Obama should seize this opportunity to advance closer cooperation between our two countries. The United States and South Korea share a commitment to peace and the defense of democratic values. We are linked by ties of family and trade, and by a history of shared sacrifice. The South Korean story is one of remarkable resilience and success. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, a conflict that has taken the lives of over one million South Korean civilians, 217,000 South Korean soldiers, and 36,000 Americans. Out of the ashes of the war, and with the steadfast support of the United States, the Korean people rebuilt their economy and began the process of growth and development that has made South Korea one of the world’s largest economies and America’s sixth largest trading partner.
 
During my visit to Korea last year, I had the opportunity to spend time at the DMZ and meet soldiers from Florida who serve on ‘the edge of freedom.’ South Korea still faces a grave threat from North Korea, as North Korea continues to threaten violence. I hope President Obama will reiterate that the United States stands ready to defend South Korea in the event of North Korean aggression and discuss ways to modernize and integrate our missile defenses and our deterrent as well to pressure Pyongyang, including by reimposing a tougher sanctions regime. President Obama should also never miss a chance to speak up for the rights of the North Korean people. ‎As we work to deter North Korea’s threat, I also applaud President Park’s vision for the peaceful unification of the Korean Peninsula under democratic rule. We should work closely with South Korea to realize this noble objective. A reunified, democratic Korea would provide all Koreans with the peace, prosperity, and freedom they seek.
 
“The United States and South Korea share interests that extend well beyond the Korean Peninsula. We must work together, and with other like-minded nations, to defend and uphold an open, rule-based international order. China’s recent campaign of building and militarizing islands in the South China Sea threatens the continued openness of the global commons on which all Asian nations depend. Like the United States, South Korea has suffered damaging cyber-attacks against targets of strategic and commercial importance. President Obama should seek closer cooperation with South Korea in coordinating an international response to such attacks.
 
“Finally, I hope that South Korea and Japan will continue their dialogue to overcome historical differences. Such reconciliation will open the door to much closer trilateral cooperation, so that our three great countries can work together to advance peace, freedom, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.”