Senator Markey travels to Taiwan next, where he will be joined by House members
Seoul (August 14, 2022) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations East Asia, Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Subcommittee, kicked off his Congressional delegation trip to Asia in South Korea this week, where he reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to the U.S.-South Korea alliance and explored ways to mutually address some of the most challenging global issues: the climate crisis, security on the Korean peninsula, and resilient supply chains. As a co-chair of the bicameral Congressional Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group, the Senator visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea where he received a security briefing from senior military officials and toured the Joint Security Area.
During his trip to South Korea, Senator Markey met with President of South Korea Yoon Suk-yeol to discuss shared efforts to strengthen the U.S.-South Korea alliance, including investment and trade between the two countries, as well as the threat posed by North Korea.
The Senator also met with South Korea’s Minister of Unification Kwon Young-se to discuss the dire humanitarian situation in North Korea and with South Korean legislator Representative Tae Yong-ho to hear first-hand his experiences as a North Korean defector and his views on North Korea’s continued nuclear weapons program.
Senator Markey met with the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Philip Goldberg to discuss U.S.-South Korea relations, and received a briefing from U.S. Forces Korea Commander General Paul LaCamera on security threats in the region.
Senator Markey spoke with executives from LG Chem and Hanwha Qcells to discuss U.S.-South Korea collaboration on clean energy technologies.
The Senator also met with directors of the Green Climate Fund, a fund established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to discuss the continued importance of global cooperation on finance for climate adaptation and mitigation, as well as the possibilities for the private sector in climate-smart investments.
“The U.S.-South Korea alliance is based on shared values and interests – from nuclear disarmament to the fight against climate change, and our commitment to this important relationship is stronger than ever,” said Senator Markey. “Through my meetings with President Yoon and other senior government officials, it was evident that our two countries are prepared to meet existential and pressing global challenges head-on. The size, diversity, and lethality of North Korea’s weapons continues to grow, as does its threat to our allies in the region. In my meetings and my visit to the DMZ, we discussed how to continue multilateral pressure and diplomatic efforts to reach a solution that ensures the American people and our allies are safe from a nuclear Kim regime.”
Senator Markey continued, “Our alliance is also rooted in our economic partnership and mutual commitment to advancing a clean-energy 21st century. The historic Inflation Reduction Act will invest $369 billion in climate justice and clean energy technology, create millions of jobs, and reduce our emissions. Together, U.S. and South Korean companies are powering a green revolution – from getting more electric vehicles on the road and into the hands of American consumers, to South Korean companies building solar modules in the United States to help us harness the power of the sun.”
In April 2021, Senator Markey and Congressman Levin reintroduced the Enhancing North Korea Humanitarian Assistance Act to require sanctions modifications at the Treasury Department, the State Department, and the United Nations Sanctions Committee on North Korea to ensure that assistance can reach those in need.
Next, Senator Markey will travel to Taiwan, where he will be joined by the remainder of the bipartisan Congressional delegation, including co-leaders of the congressional Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control Working Group Congressmen John Garamendi (CA-03) and Don Beyer (VA-08), as well as Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) and Congresswoman Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (AS). In Taiwan, Senator Markey and members of the delegation will reaffirm the United States’ support for Taiwan as guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, U.S.-China Joint Communiques, and the Six Assurances and encourage stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait. The group will meet with elected leaders and members of the private sector to discuss shared interests including reducing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and expanding economic cooperation, including investments in semiconductors.
Additional details on the trip will be released in the coming days.