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United States-Republic of Korea Defense Cooperation Improvement Act of 2008

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


UNITED STATES-REPUBLIC OF KOREA DEFENSE COOPERATION IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - September 23, 2008)

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 5443, a bill to upgrade the status of South Korea's foreign military sales to that of the countries of NATO, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

I would like to thank Chairman Howard Berman for helping to schedule consideration of this legislation before us today and to also recognize the important work of our Foreign Affairs colleague, Mr. Royce of California, in introducing this timely and important bill which I am pleased to cosponsor.

Mr. Speaker, this bill appropriately accords South Korea the same treatment provided to other key partners of the United States in the foreign military sales process, such as higher dollar thresholds and expedited time frames for congressional notifications. This upgrade is a powerful symbol of a renewed and transformed U.S.-South Korea alliance. It forcefully reaffirms that South Korea has been and will continue to be a close and valued strategic ally of the United States--a relationship that has long served as a bedrock of stability for northeast Asia.

Mr. Speaker, this legislation is strongly supported by our Departments of State and Defense, and its passage will help advance a new strategic framework for the alliance but not only for the purpose of managing a range of increasingly complex contingencies related to North Korea, but also to cement a common Democratic partnership for the next century.

I urge its adoption.

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