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Reps. Chu and Takano Host CAPAC on North Korea

June 12, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice Chair, hosted a CAPAC forum on issues related to North Korea that impact the Korean American community. At the forum, Frank Aum, a Senior Expert on North Korea at the US Institute of Peace, testified on security issues. Dr. KJ Seung, an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Medical School Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, spoke about humanitarian aid and health issues. Chahee Stanfield, the Executive Director of Divided Families USA and Mrs. Soon Bok Kim represented the experiences of families who remain divided by the Korean War decades later and shared their personal stories. Mrs. Kim provided her testimony with the language assistance of Paul Kyumin Lee, the President of Divided Families USA.Reps. Chu and Takano issued the following statements:

“I am so grateful to our members and witnesses who made today’s forum such a success,” said Rep. Chu. “For years, I, and many of my colleagues, have been hearing directly from Korean American constituents in our districts about the urgent humanitarian and security challenges on the Korean peninsula. And as U.S.-Korean relations gain more focus, we felt it was important to hold today’s forum so that more members could hear directly from the experts and impacted individuals. As a nation, we must work towards a responsible solution to secure peace on the Korean peninsula and address the humanitarian concerns that often fail to rise to the forefront. That must include an urgent reunification of divided families who are running out of time to see loved ones who have been on the other side of a border for decades. With today’s forum, I am glad that we were able to raise these concerns and ensure they are part of the conversation. Peace on the Korean peninsula, and stability for the US and our Asian alliances remains a priority. I hope that today’s forum helped to bring us closer to that goal. I want to thank Rep. Takano for his leadership and all of today’s witnesses for their time and expertise.”

“I commend CAPAC for organizing this critical forum highlighting the experiences of the Korean community and discussing the effects of the current state of North Korea relations,” said Rep. Takano. “We must continue fostering a dialogue on ways we can support Korean and Korean American families and prioritizing those affected by this ongoing crisis.”