Mr. GARRETT. I rise to speak about the strong relationship between the United States and South Korea, one of our most important relationships, for South Korea is one of America's closest allies in Asia and, indeed, in the entire world. Since the Korean war in the 1950s, the U.S. and South Korea have stood side by side in the name of democracy and liberty and to face down the forces of tyranny and oppression and dictatorship from North Korea and the broader world.
All you need to do is to compare North and South Korea to understand how successful South Korea has been and how much of a failure the Kim regime in the North has been.
South Korea is the world's 15th-largest economy and Asia's fourth-largest. Companies like Samsung, Kia, and LG are major, globally known brands, while Seoul ranks as one of the great cities of the world. South Korea is a vibrant, open society with an equally vibrant and open political system.
Now take North Korea. North Korea is a kleptocratic, vicious dictatorship that tramples on the most basic rights of its citizens, all in the name of glorifying the Kim family and its cadre of jack-booted thugs. There is no freedom of choice, no freedom of religion, and no freedom to dissent from the line of the Kim regime. For the average North Korean, there is only poverty, despotism, and no hope as the regime squanders its resources on its bloated military and dangerous nuclear program.