Representative Young Kim gives her opinion on how Russia’s continued alliance with North Korea is bad news for everyone. 


The Korean War armistice agreement, which separated the Korean Peninsula into North and South after more than three years of bloody fighting, was signed 71 years ago this month. While many Americans’ memories of the “Forgotten War” may have faded, mine remain unclouded.


I was born in Incheon, South Korea, after the war, when General Douglas MacArthur’s historic invasion provided the Allied army with a base from which to repel North Korean forces. The war’s damage persisted even after armed combat ended. I remember well, as a little child, seeing American soldiers pass by in their trucks and toss out candy; it was my first introduction to the potential and freedom of my new home.


As the head of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific and one of the first Korean American women to serve in Congress, my work is informed by my experiences.


I have lived to see South Korea’s development into a developed country, a thriving democracy, and a significant strategic ally of the United States. I have also seen the North Korean leadership, under Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and now Kim Jong Un, endanger the lives of its citizens by prioritizing the military and, more recently, increasing the country’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

The United States shouldn’t sleep on North Korea, even though North Korean leaders have changed since the Korean War.


We are aware of Kim Jong Un’s activities. He is becoming more aggressive, establishing closer relationships with our enemies, and expanding his goals beyond of the Korean peninsula. What is Kim Jong Un capable of, and are the US and its allies prepared, is the issue.


We have already failed to preserve our international order based on norms and to safeguard peace and stability in the area if we choose to remain silent at this point. Before it’s too late, we need to increase our pressure, support deterrence, and protect the peace.


Thus far this year, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has launched three ballistic missile tests in January, March, and April. For the third time since May, North Korea has flown hundreds of balloons carrying rubbish over the border into South Korea. North Korean forces have also breached the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) many times in recent months.