U.S. Lawmakers Pass Resolution for Korean Americans and Their Families in North Korea

D-bo, April 24, 2015, 8:22 a.m.

A U.S. congressional panel passed a resolution Thursday calling for the reunion of Korean Americans and their families in North Korea.  The resolution, introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), encourages Pyongyang to allow Koreans in the U.S. to meet with their family members separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

It "calls on North Korea to take concrete steps to build goodwill that is conducive to peace on the Korean Peninsula."  It was unanimously approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee.  It noted the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the peninsula has separated millions of Koreans including more than 100,000 American families of Korean descent.  Reps. Rangel, a Korean-war veteran, and Royce welcomed the passage of the resolution.

"As a soldier who fought in Korea more than sixty years ago, it is heartbreaking that even after six decades, the division on the Korean Peninsula still separates millions of Korean families, including many of whom are now citizens of the Unites States," Rangel said in an emailed press release. "I hope that our efforts will lead to reunions of divided families who are dying to see their long lost loved ones."

Royce, who chairs the House committee, said, "It is our hope that this resolution will be a first step towards helping bring together families that want nothing more than to be reunited again."  Rangel and Royce are known for their efforts to help improve relations between Seoul and Washington.

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