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house Bill H.R. 1771

Should the State Dept. Work With North Korea to Reunite Korean-Americans With Family in North Korea?

Argument in favor

Although North and South Korea have held 20 family reunification events to reunite South Koreans with North Korean family members, these events haven’t had official channels to include Korean-Americans. Consequently, Korean Americans with family in North Korea haven’t been able to see loved ones in that country for decades. Creating an official channel to support family reunification efforts would bolster U.S. government efforts to reunify Korean-Americans with loved ones in North Korea.

jimK's Opinion
···
03/08/2020
Small steps are key to larger diplomatic gains. This is the right thing to do for the separated families to reunite. This is something that can be agreed to with North Korea and provide a foundation to build a better, safer future with step-by-step diplomacy.
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Leslie's Opinion
···
03/08/2020
Family reunification could be the 1st step towards other interactions! Thank you Jamie Raskin for voting, “Yea”. @Becca: I don’t see where @LaRubia has suggested reunification. All that has been suggested is that family reunification is one of many steps that could occur between neighboring countries that should have travel & trade interactions like the YS & Canada but no one has ever suggested these two neighboring countries be unified.
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Robert 's Opinion
···
03/09/2020
Lets try diplomacy instead of threats of military intervention.
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Argument opposed

The U.S. government — and particularly Congress — is already expending meaningful energy on efforts to reunite Korean-Americans with family members in North Korea. The lack of progress on this front is due largely to lack of political will at the executive level in both countries, as well as the high probability of North Korea asking for remuneration to house families (which the U.S. is unlikely to accept as a condition); as this bill doesn’t address these major stumbling blocks, it’s unlikely to make much progress.

burrkitty's Opinion
···
03/09/2020
This is one of those things that sounds really nice in theory but in reality may be very dangerous. NK has routinely punished the remaining families of escapees. Im not 100% sure Identifying and seeking out the remaining families of our citizens is a good choice. For their safety or the safety of their families. Assuming they are still alive at all. A oppressive dictatorship with a statistically high chance of retaliation against the families of escapees... surely you can see how badly this can go. You’re just creating deadly hostage situations by identifying them. I just can’t say this is a good idea no matter how sad a painful it must be for them. The danger to the families in North Korea is so high.
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Lisa's Opinion
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03/08/2020
No,the price would be too high and North Korea does not keep promises.
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Jacquelyn's Opinion
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03/10/2020
I wouldn't trust NK to not cause an international incident by saying we were sending spies, or taking an American for some other reason.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed March 9th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 391 Yea / 0 Nay
    IntroducedMarch 14th, 2019

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!

Bill Activity

  • IntroReferral
    Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  • Floor
    On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 391 - 0 (Roll no. 92). (text: CR H1547)
  • Floor
    Considered as unfinished business. (consideration: CR H1549)
  • Floor
    Considered under suspension of the rules. (consideration: CR H1547-1548)
  • Floor
    Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
  • Floor
    On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: (2/3 required): 391 - 0 (Roll no. 92).
  • Floor
    Considered as unfinished business.
  • Floor
    At the conclusion of debate, the Yeas and Nays were demanded and ordered. Pursuant to the provisions of clause 8, rule XX, the Chair announced that further proceedings on the motion would be postponed.
  • Floor
    DEBATE - The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1771.
  • Floor
    Considered under suspension of the rules.
  • Floor
    Mr. Sires moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended.
  • Committee
    Committee Consideration and Mark-up Session Held.
  • Committee
    Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by Unanimous Consent.
  • Committee
    Referred to the Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation.
  • IntroReferral
    Referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed March 9th, 2020
    Roll Call Vote 391 Yea / 0 Nay
    IntroducedMarch 14th, 2019

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Small steps are key to larger diplomatic gains. This is the right thing to do for the separated families to reunite. This is something that can be agreed to with North Korea and provide a foundation to build a better, safer future with step-by-step diplomacy.
    Like (56)
    Follow
    Share
    This is one of those things that sounds really nice in theory but in reality may be very dangerous. NK has routinely punished the remaining families of escapees. Im not 100% sure Identifying and seeking out the remaining families of our citizens is a good choice. For their safety or the safety of their families. Assuming they are still alive at all. A oppressive dictatorship with a statistically high chance of retaliation against the families of escapees... surely you can see how badly this can go. You’re just creating deadly hostage situations by identifying them. I just can’t say this is a good idea no matter how sad a painful it must be for them. The danger to the families in North Korea is so high.
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    Family reunification could be the 1st step towards other interactions! Thank you Jamie Raskin for voting, “Yea”. @Becca: I don’t see where @LaRubia has suggested reunification. All that has been suggested is that family reunification is one of many steps that could occur between neighboring countries that should have travel & trade interactions like the YS & Canada but no one has ever suggested these two neighboring countries be unified.
    Like (29)
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    Lets try diplomacy instead of threats of military intervention.
    Like (18)
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    No,the price would be too high and North Korea does not keep promises.
    Like (11)
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    Although North and South Korea have held 20 family reunification events to reunite South Koreans with North Korean family members, these events haven’t had official channels to include Korean-Americans. Consequently, Korean Americans with family in North Korea haven’t been able to see loved ones in that country for decades. Creating an official channel to support family reunification efforts would bolster U.S. government efforts to reunify Korean-Americans with loved ones in North Korea.
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    I would support efforts to reunite these Americans with their families in North Korea. We should all be free to communicate with our families no matter where they are, and if there's a way to breach the North Korean isolation I think this would be a good start.
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    People should be allowed to see their own family. This could be the first steps to reuniting Korea or at least protecting the North Korean people.
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    If it were any other administration I would be excited about this. But with Drumpf who is so stupid & selfish I cannot send this being effective
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    If this is done without the involvement of either Donald Trump or Kim Jung Un it might actually stand a chance of working. Family reunification is not something the Trumpublican Administration is familiar with. This bill, however, can be implemented despite that. These families deserve and need the opportunity for reunification,
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    As a pathway to peace, Give it a go.
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    I wouldn't trust NK to not cause an international incident by saying we were sending spies, or taking an American for some other reason.
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    I agree with Leslie, this could be the beginning of other interactions between North & South Korea. If we can help facilitate this, we should.
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    I should think it would be safer for all if the State Department worked on reunification of those families to the US or South Korea. Returning to North Korea will only mean death to those who left. Just pretend for once we care about the lives and safety of those who risked everything to get here. Diplomacy is always best.
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    North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has met with the South Korean President and U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss denuclearization. The talks have gone nowhere. I say keep channels open to reunite loved ones they haven't seen each other in decades while at the same time diplomatically working on the hard issues outlined below. Here are five major hurdles listed below POLITICAL: Given that Kim’s priority is safeguarding his dynastic regime, it’s unlikely North Korea will agree to national reunification on terms that herald its own demise. And as freewheeling, democratic South Korea won’t relish wallowing under Stalinist totalitarianism, mending the political divide remains a huge sticking point. One option maybe some form of “one country, two systems” arrangement, similar to how China and Hong Kong have two uniquely different political systems under the umbrella of the same nation. However, Kim knows that relaxing internal controls — such as exchanges of people, information, and capital — enfeebles his own position as his 25 million impoverished subjects will no doubt begin agitating for economic parity with their sophisticated 50 million brethren across the DMZ. (The fall of the Berlin Wall is an example of just how this can manifest.) ECONOMIC: Even backburnering the considerable political pitfalls, economic issues are no easy fix. Largely agrarian North Korea has a GDP less than 1% of the South, which is the world’s 11th biggest economy, boasting some of the top tech and engineering firms. As such, merging the two economies would wreak hardships many times worse than when East and West German united in 1990. SOCIAL: South Korea is one of the fastest-paced, kitschiest and most competitive environments in the world. South Koreans work the second longest hours of all developed nations, with even school kids studying for 16 hours a day in a bid to gain access to one of three top universities. It has the highest rates of cosmetic surgery and teen suicide in the world. The contrast between this dog-eat-dog, helter-skelter environment and collectivized North Korea could not be starker. While all South Korean men spend two years of military service, the norm for North Koreans is ten, with schooling under the regime little more than mind-numbing indoctrination. Little wonder North Korean defectors frequently struggle to assimilate, suffering depression, failing to find work, and sometimes even return back to the North. A colossal affirmative action program would be needed to give North Koreans the skills and opportunities required to compete with their Southern peers. But this risks stoking resentment and social unrest. There’s also a good chance that some North Koreans, especially military personnel with easy access to small arms, may resort to petty larceny to get ahead. SECURITY: North Korea is believed to have a standing army of 1.1 million troops along with 7.7 million reserves. According to a South Korean Ministry of National Defense report, Pyongyang boasts more than 1,300 aircraft, some 300 helicopters, 250 amphibious vessels, 430 combatant vessels, 4,300 tanks, 2,500 armored vehicles, 70 submarines, and 5,500 multiple-rocket launchers. And lest we forget the up to 60 nuclear bombs, a bevy of short and intercontinental-range missiles, and stockpiles of 2,500 – 5,000 tons of chemical weapons the regime wields. GEOPOLITICAL: East Asia’s security architecture is delicately balanced, with South Korea and Japan the key U.S. allies, and North Korea backed by China and Russia (even if that support is fitful and waning). The North Korean threat is a large reason why the U.S. maintains some 40,000 troops in Japan and 28,500 in South Korea. Much of Chinese support for North Korea stems from its aversion to a united, U.S.-allied Korean peninsular possibly putting American troops on its border. REUNIFICATION: A formal peace treaty between North and South — would undermine Washington’s argument for its continued military presence. “There would be voices raised with the question: why are the U.S. troops still here if we have a peace regime in North Korea?” says Christopher Green, a senior researcher on the Korean Peninsular for the International Crisis Group. “So it would certainly be politically very destabilizing for South Korea.” Already, an increasingly assertive China under President Xi Jinping has taken aim at South Korea hosting the U.S. THAAD anti-missile battery. One might expect these complaints to amplify were the North Korean threat neutralized, boosting China’s regional clout at the expense of the U.S. After voicing a litany of obstacles and concerns it boils down to taking these huge challenges on one at a time and a matter of mutual trust. It seems to me this plan is futile as long as there is a vicious and dangerously aggressive dictator in the north that will not agree to any measures that might possibly diminish his ever wielding and controlling power.
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    Have to agree with Burrkitty on this one......I just do not trust the situation......sounds like a "set up" to me.
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    Families should never be separated.
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    If chain migration is good enough for our First Lady, it should be good for all Americans.
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    You libtards are all over the place on this one. So... whichever one is least favorable to most libtards, I choose that one!
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    First let’s re-unite the refugee families on our Southern border who trump purposely and with cold calculation, ripped apart...
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