Ron Paul
2001 Ron Paul Chapter 26

U.S. Intervention In South Korea

25 April 2001

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2001 Ron Paul 26:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, today I am placing into the record the attached article from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, as I believe it accurately depicts the problem that many nations face in attempting to resolve their difference once our government decides to insert itself into internal or regional matters in other parts of the world. Instead of hindering peace in the ways pointed out by this article, we can play a constructive role in the world. However, to do so will require a change of policy. By maintaining open trade and friendly diplomatic relations with all countries we could fulfill that role as a moral compass that our founders envisioned. Unfortunately, as this article shows, our current policy of intervention is having the exact opposite effect.

2001 Ron Paul 26:2

2001 Ron Paul 26:3
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA — Amid heightened tension between the U.S. and China over the downing of an American spy plane, frustration is mounting inside President Kim Dae Jung’s government that President Bush’s Asia policies are undercutting ties between North and South Korea.

2001 Ron Paul 26:4
President Kim has made his peace initiative toward reclusive North Korea — with whom the South remains technically at war — a cornerstone of his administration. Mr. Bush’s advisers say they are still reviewing the merits of engaging the communist North, but a number of Mr. Kim’s aides fear time is running out since his term ends next year.

2001 Ron Paul 26:5
Fueling this unease among some in Mr. Kim’s government is their belief that the Bush administration views peace on the Korean Peninsula as working against its principal security interests. Central to this is Mr. Bush’s plans to build a national missiledefense shield, for which North Korea’s missile program is a primary justification. U.S. military and intelligence officials have played up in recent weeks both the military and nuclear threats posed by North Korea’s military, re-emphasizing the Pentagon’s need to maintain 37,000 troops in South Korea.

2001 Ron Paul 26:6
Now, the U.S.-China standoff over an American surveillance plane that landed on China’s Hainan island is fanning fears that a renewed Cold War will grip North Asia. “The U.S.’s dependence upon a Cold War strategy . . . is causing the detente mood (on the Korean Peninsula) to collapse,” says Jang Sung Min, a legislator with the Millennium Democratic Party and an aide to Mr. Kim. He fears the U.S.’s pursuit of missile defense will exacerbate this tension by leading to a renewed arms race between regional powers China, Japan and Russia.

2001 Ron Paul 26:7
The South Korean Foreign Ministry, while officially maintaining that it is too early to judge Mr. Bush’s policy vis-a-vis North Korea, also is expressing skittishness toward Washington’s intentions. Spokesman Kim Euy Taek says the ministry hopes “the Bush administration will rethink its skepticism” toward North Korea after completing its review of the Clinton team’s policies toward Pyongyang.

2001 Ron Paul 26:8
For its part, the Bush administration doesn’t accept the premise that its actions are undermining Seoul’s peace initiative. “We continue to strongly support President Kim’s policy of engagement with North Korea,” a State Department spokesman in Washington says. “We share a common concern about the nature and level of the military threat from North Korea, and we continue to discuss ways to deal with that.”

2001 Ron Paul 26:9
Just three months ago, expectations were high that a peace pact could be signed between allies South Korea and the U.S. and North Korea. Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had held an unprecedented meeting with North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong II, after the North sent a senior envoy to Washington. President Clinton was seriously considering a deal in January where North Korea would scrap some weapons programs in exchange for financial aid.

2001 Ron Paul 26:10
Kim Dae Jung’s government followed up by scheduling a March summit with Mr. Bush in Washington in hopes of picking up where Mr. Clinton left off. Instead Mr. Bush voiced “skepticism” toward Kim Jong II’s intentions and placed all talks with North Korea on hold pending the Clinton-policy review.

2001 Ron Paul 26:11
This rebuke has fueled a marked deterioration in North-South relations. Last month, Pyongyang halted peace talks with the South, a sporting exchange has been cancelled, and Kim Jong II’s proposed trip to South Korea during the first half of the year has been delayed to the second half — at the earliest.

2001 Ron Paul 26:12
Now, President Kim and his supporters are left hoping Mr. Bush’s team will quickly wrap up their review of North Korea policy and sign on to new peace talks. If not, however, there is a helpless sense of what can actually be achieved without Washington’s imprimatur. Hahn Hwa Kap, a senior member of President Kim’s Millennium Democratic Party, says: “The longer this process takes, the longer it will take for North-South relations to improve.”

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