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OPINION

Is Your Representative Being Influenced by Extremists to Support a Bill Granting Concessions to North Korea?

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Korea Summit Press Pool via AP. Pool, File

On May 20, 2021, Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) introduced a bill in the House of Representatives, designated H. R. 3446, with the initial co-sponsorship of fellow Democrats Ro Khanna, Andy Kim and Grace Meng.  The bill has been co-sponsored by about two dozen other legislators. This dangerous bill, damaging to U.S. national security and the cause of freedom in Asia, has the innocent-sounding but deeply misleading title of "Peace on the Korean Peninsula Act." More accurately, it should be named the "Unreciprocated Concessions to North Korea Act" or the "Undeserved Gift and Dream Come True for Kim Jong-un Act." This bill amounts to a "wishlist" of North Korea, since it grants almost every demand the North has made in recent years.

H. R. 3446 calls on our government to relax the current travel ban on North Korea for American citizens, sign a so-called peace agreement with the North to replace the 1953 Korean War Armistice Agreement, and exchange liaison offices with the North.  What is particularly outrageous about the bill is what it fails to mention.

The bill does not demand that the North in any way reciprocate in exchange for the U.S. granting these concessions.  It does not demand that the North live up to several commitments made over many years to the U.S., South Korea, and the international community to denuclearize. It does not mention the North's acts of aggression at the DMZ and on the seas surrounding Korea, nor its violations of the 1953 Armistice Agreement, nor its assassinations and attempts to murder opponents.  The bill also totally ignores the imprisonment and torture of Americans, including Korean-Americans, who visited the North before the travel ban.  Human rights groups are appalled that the bill neglects to mention the North's human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.

There are two major types of groups and individuals collaborating to lobby Congress in support of this bill.  The first are pro-North Korean organizations and activists in the U.S., who are to varying degrees in sympathy with the North. These include pro-North "front" groups as well as those of a more openly pro-North variety.  The second are pro-Moon Jae-in organizations and activists in the U.S.  They support South Korea's appeasement-minded President Moon and his leftist Democratic Party of Korea.

The pro-North forces, which have been promoting the bill and lobbying legislators to co-sponsor it, are extremists so far out of the mainstream, so far on the radical fringe, that it is difficult to understand why members of Congress would meet with them, any more than such members would meet with others on the extreme right or left who hold anti-American, anti-U.S. military views, and who are apologists for, sympathizers with, or supporters of North Korea.  These extremists, the real forces behind the bill, are on record opposing U.S. involvement in the Korean War, condemning the U.S. as an "imperialist" and "militarist" force for evil in the world, denying or downplaying North Korea's terrorist and other attacks for decades, claiming the North needs nuclear arms for "self-defense," calling for the withdrawal of what they term U.S. "occupation" forces not only from South Korea, but also from the entire Pacific, including Guam and even Hawaii, harshly denouncing U.S. allies such as Israel, participating in propaganda activities during visits to North Korea, smearing human rights activists and defectors from the North, and blaming America for every problem on the Korean peninsula, while absolving the North of responsibility for its criminal behavior.

Many readers would probably like to ask the following questions to Representatives Sherman, Khanna, Kim, Meng, and the others who have co-sponsored the bill:

Question:

- Are you aware of the facts that one of the key lobbyists targeting you in support of H. R. 3446, Christine Ahn, one of the top leaders of Women Cross DMZ / Korea Peace Now (the latter being essentially under the guidance of and serving as a de facto lobbying arm of the former), and her group, are on record as making the following statements?

"The US aggressive military posture towards China is in fact part of the long legacy of US imperialism..."  

"The U.S. military is there [in South Korea] to protect the corporate interests of U.S. corporations."

"[I am] trying to liberate Korea [from] under the yoke of U.S. imperialism."

"What are we going to do to stop the U.S. from being the world's aggressor and occupier?"

"The US, so-called leader of human rights, freedom and democracy is showing its racist, colonial, genicidal [sic] history to the world. North Koreans have learned that history, most Americans haven’t."

"...the U.S. and South Korean governments control and suppress dissent through the infrastructure of bases..."

"...U.S. bases are there to encircle China."

(above statements by Christine Ahn of "Women Cross DMZ / Korea Peace Now")

Ahn has also expressed support for "...Palestinian people fighting for freedom and liberation from brutal apartheid."

An official "Women Cross DMZ" statement strongly condemned the U.S. military for supposedly having "wreaked violence and instability around the world," opposed what it termed "anti-China rhetoric," for creating tensions, stridently denounced Israel as an alleged "settler colonial state," and demanded an end to U.S. political and military support for Israel.

Question:

Are you aware of the facts that one of the key lobbyists targeting you in support of H. R. 3446, the leader of the "Korean American Public Action Committee (KAPAC)," Kwang-chul Casey Choi, is a high-ranking official of the "National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC)," a South Korean government agency under the control of the Moon Jae-in administration, and that neither NUAC nor Choi's 501(c)(3) KAPAC group are supposed to be primarily and intensively involved in lobbying for legislation?

Question:

Are you aware of the facts that one of the reports which you may have received from "Korea Peace Now," a key group targeting you in support of H. R. 3446, was written by Henri Feron, who works with "Women Cross DMZ / Korea Peace Now," who is a registered agent of the South Korean government, and that he was paid almost $25,000 by a South Korean government agency to produce that report?

Representatives Sherman, Khanna, Kim, and Meng, in addition to the other co-sponsors of the bill, owe the American people, and particularly their constituents, an explanation as to why they allowed themselves to be manipulated by extremists.  Inquiring minds would specifically like to hear from Sherman as to why he and his staff have allowed themselves to be influenced by stridently anti-Israel groups and activists lobbying for the bill.

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