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Authority to Extend the United States-Republic of Korea Nuclear Cooperation Agreement

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. COLLINS of Georgia. Mr. Chairman, I appreciate you yielding the time.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2449, I think the merits of which you have spoken of. I also want to rise and discuss the relationship with the Republic of Korea.

Since the 1950s, the Republic of Korea has been a strong ally of the United States and an economic leader in the Pacific region. South Korea is an example of how the free market brings about an increased quality of life.

The Republic of Korea is Asia's fourth largest economy and the world's 12th largest economy. In the 1960s, South Korea was on par with levels of poverty seen in Africa. Fast forward to 2004, when South Korea joined the trillion-dollar club of world economies--in stark contrast to its neighbor to the north. North Korea is one of the most oppressive regimes in the world.

The U.S.-South Korea alliance is one that shows the world the promise of democracy and free enterprise. Today, we recognize just one partnership between our nations--the civilian nuclear energy program. This agreement maintains a safe, secure nuclear program in a very turbulent international environment.

I'm grateful to be an original cosponsor of this legislation. Congress needs to continue to show how much it values our Nation's relationship with South Korea, and a positive vote on this agreement will be a strong step in that regard.

When you look at the area, you see the strong light of freedom in South Korea tarnished only by the darkness of the tyranny in North Korea. That's why we stand with South Korea. That's why this agreement is important.

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