Saturday, January 21, 2006

U.S. Congressman Blasts North Korea

In a rare move, the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ International Relations Committee, Henry Hyde , sent a letter of encouragement to U.S. Ambassador to Korea Alexander Vershbow, who had criticized North Korea as a “criminal regime.”

Hyde’s letter can be interpreted as his public response to an official request from South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon to Ambassador Vershbow to restrain himself from making provocative statements, and to the mention of a resolution to recall Vershbow being put forward by some politicians.

In his letter, Hyde said, “People who are willing to defend a regime that threatens the safety and prosperity of the U.S. public and the international community by proliferating nuclear weapons, counterfeiting U.S. dollars, violating human rights in general, and committing other illegal acts are not friends of the U.S. or the U.S. people.”

Hyde said that the fate of U.S. is entwined with that of Korea for more than next 50 years and stated, “In this respect, I want to praise Ambassador Vershbow for strongly defending U.S. values, including democracy and human rights, and for calling those who systemically counterfeit U.S. dollars to threaten the U.S. economic security to account.”

In addition, Hyde criticized the South Korean and Chinese governments for improperly handling North Korean defections.

Hyde said, “The two governments should think of their brothers and fellow Koreans suffering from tyranny in North Korea this winter, and they should think of the refugees searching for shelter in China,” and said that those who cause innocent people pain are members of a criminal regime.

[Soon-Taek Kwon,]

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