FIRST ON FOX: GOP lawmakers demanded on Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has accepted denuclearize before a peace deal is reached between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea and the United States withdraws its troops from the peninsula.
In a letter to White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday, 35 GOP House lawmakers led by Representative Young Kim, R-Calif., Argued that a statement aimed at formally ending the 70 years war could undermine regional security if a nuclear deal is not also reached.
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“We are gravely concerned that this statement, instead of promoting peace, seriously undermines and destabilizes the security of the Korean Peninsula,” read the letter obtained by Fox News. “The arguments for the declaration as a means of bringing North Korea back to the negotiating table have fallen on deaf ears in Pyongyang.”
The letter comes after reports first surfaced late last month that Washington and Seoul were working to end a conflict that had been going on for decades.
The White House declined to know whether it was actively working to finalize an end-of-war declaration or whether the deal would include language on denuclearization.
But a spokesperson told Fox News the White House was “ready to engage in diplomacy with the DPRK.”
“The United States remains committed to achieving lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and diplomacy,” the spokesperson said.
Republicans argued in Tuesday’s letter that diplomatic relations with Pyongyang are too precarious to believe that a nuclear deal would be honored even if the DPRK agreed to one.
“There is no historical precedent to support the theory that the Kim regime will abide by the terms of a peace deal,” lawmakers said. “The DPRK has repeatedly violated binding agreements with South Korea, the United States and the United Nations, and continues to engage in illegal activities to circumvent sanctions on its nuclear weapons program and gross violations human rights.
“Opening the door to consideration of the withdrawal of US troops from the Korean Peninsula prior to the complete denuclearization of the North would have dire consequences for US national security, erode our combined deterrence, and endanger the lives of tens of millions. Americans, Koreans and Japanese. “
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Kim, a Californian Republican, grew up in South Korea in the aftermath of the Korean War and argued that the Biden administration’s attempt to establish diplomatic relations with the DPRK was unsuccessful.
“Kim Jong-un has proven time and again to be an unreliable negotiator, and we have to realize that we are dealing with a regime that cannot be trusted,” the congresswoman told Fox News. Adding that a declaration of end of war could “cede the negotiating power of the United States, South Korea and our allies to the Kim regime”.
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Lawmakers fear the end of the war will give North Korea bargaining power to call for the withdrawal of all US troops from the region – dismantling a deterrent not only for the DPRK, but also for China and Russia.
“Declaring an end to hostilities should come to the culmination of comprehensive, long-term talks with North Korea after it has eliminated its nuclear arsenal and demonstrated verifiable improvements in its human rights record,” lawmakers concluded. “This should not be offered as an attempt to enter into talks with uncertain strategy and endgame. “