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Rep. Young Kim Urges for Reunifications of Korean American Divided Families

Washington, DC – Today the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Divided Families Reunification Act (H.R. 826) and H.Res. 294, two bipartisan initiatives Rep. Young Kim (CA-39) helped introduce that would encourage reunions of Korean American families with war-torn family members in North Korea. Both measures now head to the full House of Representatives for a Floor vote.

Rep. Kim is one of the first Korean American women to serve in Congress and serves as Vice Ranking Member of the Asia Subcommittee. She has long fought for Korean Americans to be able to reunite with family members since before her time in Congress.

“As a Korean American, I understand and have great empathy for Korean Americans’ continued separation from their families in North Korea, and I have been pushing for family reunifications since before my time in Congress,” said Kim. “Time is running out to make these reunifications a reality. I thank my House Foreign Affairs Committee colleagues for coming together today to show bipartisan commitment to supporting war-torn families by passing H.R. 826 and H.Res. 294. I look forward to supporting these two measures on the House Floor soon.”

“The passage of the Divided Families Reunification Act and the House Resolution encouraging reunions of Korean-American divided families in the House Foreign Affairs Committee represents one step closer to a long-delayed resolution of the separation of American families from their family members in North Korea. The bipartisan support for these legislative initiatives are a signal of continuous efforts to support our community of elderly Korean American divided families at the highest level of our government. We are hopeful that the House will pass both bills as it did last year, and that it will be able to gain the support it needs to pass the Senate and be signed into law under this administration,” saidPaul Lee, president of the Divided Families USA.

“We are grateful for the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s unanimous support for the Divided Families Reunification Act, led by Rep. Meng and Rep. Taylor, as well as the House resolution to encouraging reunions of Korean-American divided families,” said Wonseok Song, executive director of the Korean American Grassroots Conference, the largest nationwide network of Korean American voters. “Today’s passage of both pieces of legislation brings closer a legislative solution to end the humanitarian crisis suffered by families torn apart by the Korean War who are ailing and aging. We thank the continued support and indelible leadership of Rep. Meng, Rep. Taylor, Rep. Bass, and Rep. Young Kim in bipartisan efforts towards a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula, based on compassion and family values.”

Rep. Kim joined Reps. Grace Meng (NY-06) and Van Taylor (TX-06) to introduce the bipartisan H.R. 826, which would require the Secretary of State and the U.S. Special Envoy on North Korea Human Rights Issues to prioritize helping divided Korean American families reunite with their loved ones in North Korea.

Rep. Kim joined Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37) to introduce H.Res. 294, which calls on the United States and North Korea to reunite Korean American divided family members with their immediate relatives as a humanitarian policy of immediate concern.

Watch Rep. Kim’s remarks on these measures during the Foreign Affairs Committee markup HERE.

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