H.Res.634, Recognizing the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea-Japan trilateral relationship to counter North Korean threats and nuclear proliferation, and to ensure regional security and human rights

H.Res. 634

Recognizing the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea-Japan trilateral relationship to counter North Korean threats and nuclear proliferation, and to ensure regional security and human rights

Date
September 7, 2016 (114th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Wednesday, September 7, 2016, the House will consider H.Res.634, Recognizing the importance of the United States – Republic of Korea – Japan trilateral relationship to counter North Korean threats and nuclear proliferation, and to ensure regional security and human rights, under suspension of the rules. The resolution was introduced on March 2, 2016 by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) and was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which ordered the resolution to be reported, as amendment, on July 14, 2016, by voice vote.

Bill Summary

H.Res. 634 is resolved that the House of Representatives:

  • condemns North Korea’s nuclear tests, missile launches, and continued provocations;
  • reaffirms the importance of the United States – Republic of Korea – Japan trilateral relationship to counter North Korea’s destabilizing activities and nuclear proliferation;
  • supports joint military exercises and other efforts to strengthen cooperation, improve defense capabilities, and oppose regional threats like North Korea;
  • encourages the deployment and coordination of regional advanced ballistic missile defense systems;
  • calls for the expansion of information and intelligence sharing and sustained diplomatic cooperation between the United States, Republic of Korea, and Japan; and
  • underscores the importance of the trilateral relationship in tracking North Korea human rights violations.

Background

On January 6, 2016, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test. On February 6, 2016, an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile technology test was conducted.[1]  Both tests violated United Nations Security Council resolutions.  The government of North Korea “has repeatedly violated its commitments to the complete, verifiable, irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear weapons programs […] and poses a grave risk for the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.”[2]

It is estimated that North Korea has enough nuclear material that could be converted into 13-21 nuclear weapons and that they have the capability to reach the U.S. homeland with a nuclear weapon from a rocket. In addition, North Korea consistently conducts destabilizing domestic military drills, including firing short range missiles into the territorial waters of its neighbors.

The Republic of Korea and Japan have continued to develop close relations with the United States to navigate regional challenges. Top officials from the three governments regularly meet to discuss security matters in the Asia Pacific. From June 20, 2016 through June 28, 2016 the United States Navy, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force, and the Republic of Korea Navy conducted their third biennial Pacific Dragon exercise, a trilateral event focusing on ballistic missile defense.

According to the bill’s sponsor, “A strong, trilateral relationship between the United States, South Korea, and Japan couldn’t be more important today. The North Korean government, like a child who doesn’t understand the consequences of his actions, continues to destabilize the region by detonating nuclear devices and firing missiles.  Fortunately, responsible democratic nations will not let this threat run wild and endanger the Asia Pacific.  Our allies in Korea and Japan have taken the lead, and the United States will be there to support them.”[3]

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[1] See H.Res 634
[2] See H.R. 757, Sec. 2
[3] See Rep. Salmon’s press release, “Rep. Salmon Introduces Resolution to Support U.S.-Republic of Korea-Japan relationship” March 2, 2016.

Cost

A Congressional Budget Office cost estimate is not available at this time.

Additional Information

For questions about amendments or further information on the bill, contact Jake Vreeburg with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.