A group of key Democrats in the House of Representatives have come forward to publicly back President Donald Trump ahead of his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Led by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA), a top voice in the Democrat Party pushing for an end to endless wars around the globe, a group of 18 Democrats have signed onto a resolution in the House that would formally end the Korean War in its 68th year. Technically, the war never ended–and U.S. troops have remained deployed along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea–since open conflict stopped decades ago.
The resolution has the backing of 18 House Democrats, including a number of regular harsh critics of President Trump like freshman Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and the backing of former President Jimmy Carter.
“Historic engagement between South and North Korea has created a once-in-a-generation opportunity to formally end this war,” Khanna, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement announcing it. “President Trump must not squander this rare chance for peace. He should work hand in hand with our ally, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, to bring the war to a close and advance toward the denuclearization of the peninsula.”
Carter, the former Democrat president who was elected in 1976 and served one term, is quoted in Khanna’s press release as being supportive of the effort.
“I commend this important resolution that will help bring this nearly 70 year conflict to a close,” Carter said. “I have visited North Korea several times to talk with their leadership and study the best path forward for peace. Ending the threat of war is the only way to ensure true security for both the Korean and American people and will create the conditions to alleviate the suffering of the ordinary North Koreans who are most harmed by ongoing tensions.”
A Democratic congressional aide who works on U.S.-Korea policy told Breitbart News that this effort is meant to show broad, bipartisan support for Trump’s negotiations with Kim in a push for peace–and to encourage more Democrats to be supportive of this even though it is Trump leading the talks.
“The partisan approach to the Korea talks taken by many Democrats in Congress is deeply disappointing,” the congressional Democratic aide told Breitbart News. “They are aligning themselves with pro-war hawks solely to attack Donald Trump. Democrats need to put party aside and support this historic push for peace.”
Trump landed in Hanoi early Tuesday morning, and is set to meet with Kim for their second summit. The first, last year in Singapore, was a historic breakthrough in that it was the first time in decades that the United States had been able to get the North Koreans to negotiate on denuclearization and ultimately a peace plan. As part of that first round of talks, Kim agreed in principle to denuclearization and to send back to the United States the remains of fallen American soldiers kept since the open conflict on the Korean peninsula ended.
In addition to Khanna, Omar, Tlaib, and Ocasio-Cortez, other Democrats who have signed onto this resolution backed by Carter include: Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Deb Haaland (D-NM), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Andy Kim (D-NJ), Judy Chu (D-CA), Jose Serrano (D-NY), and Gwen Moore (D-WI).
If it was not clear from those statements that Carter and Khanna issued in the press release that these Democrats are supporting Trump as he goes into these negotiations with Kim in Hanoi, the Huffington Post has its own piece with quotes from some of them spelling it out.
“This was our effort to signal ahead of those talks that Congress is certainly hopeful that they’ll be successful,” Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), a Korean-American member, said, per the Huffington Post.
Khanna was even more explicit in the Huffington Post.
“It’s important for progressives and Democrats to support the president and administration’s efforts as they engage in dialogue with North Korea,” Khanna said. “We’re rooting for a successful outcome.”
“We all have to be patriots and put the nation and world interests first,” Khanna said. “And I don’t see how any American can’t be rooting for a successful outcome in these talks in Vietnam.”