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Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.
I rise today as a strong supporter and cosponsor of H.R. 2449, legislation to extend for 2 additional years the existing U.S.-South Korea civilian nuclear energy agreement.
As chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific, it's my strong belief that passage of this legislation is in the national interest of the United States and also in the vital interest of the U.S.-South Korea alliance.
Earlier this year, we held a hearing in our subcommittee to examine the facts behind the current nuclear energy agreement with South Korea and why it needs to be extended. Simply put, the agreement with South Korea strengthens America's nonproliferation priorities, it helps to create American jobs in the energy sector, and it's an important symbol of our long friendship with South Korea.
I want to commend my colleague from California (Mr. Royce), the chairman of the full committee, and also the ranking member of the committee from New York, Eliot Engel, for introducing this bipartisan legislation.
America's friendship with South Korea is stronger today than probably at any other moment in our history. Forged on the cold, dark battlefields of the Korean war, this year's 60th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea alliance marks a significant milestone in our ever-growing relationship. There is no doubt it has indeed become the cornerstone of peace and security in East Asia. In fact, it is the enduring, relevant, and forward-looking qualities of our alliance that makes today's consideration of this bill, H.R. 2449, so important.
Today in South Korea, a once war-torn nation has become a world-class economy and leader in high-tech innovation. Its commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in a region where these ideals are oftentimes hard to come by is a testament to the trust we have in our ally and friend, South Korea.
I once again thank Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for putting this particular legislation together. I would like to join them in urging my colleagues to support this bill.
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