Murkowski Joins CODEL to South Korea and Vietnam

Seeks to Deepen Trade and Military Relations

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) recently traveled to South Korea and Vietnam with Senate colleagues to visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), to discuss energy related issues, be briefed on legacy of war programs, and discuss U.S.-DPRK nuclear negotiations, trade, and other bilateral issues.

“North Korea remains one of the country’s primary security threats. This opportunity to visit South Korea, see the DMZ, and get briefed on the recent events happening in the region was an invaluable way to learn directly from the soldiers carrying out their mission,” said Senator Murkowski. “The important work that USAID and its NGO partners are doing in Vietnam, including dioxin remediation and disposing of unexploded ordinance, helps to build our relationship with that country. Vietnam is also an important trading partner, and strengthening these ties helps our country, particularly Alaska, on both the economic and security fronts by countering China’s influence in the region. Visiting these two countries alongside my Senate colleagues was a key opportunity to strengthen our military relations and discuss ways to collaborate on the future of energy innovation.”

In South Korea, Senator Murkowski toured the DMZ, including the Joint Security Area, as well as met with U.S. officials and military leaders. Specifically, Murkowski met with the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harrison and U.S. and Swiss military officials to discuss the U.S.-DPRK relationship, ongoing military relationships, and energy production.

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Visiting the DMZ in South Korea with my Senate Colleagues.

In Vietnam, Senator Murkowski discussed energy, trade, legacy of war, and other issues with Ho Chi Minh City Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan. She also met with the Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) involved with the disposal of unexploded ordinance to discuss clean-up of UXOs, Alaska LNG, and other energy-related issues. During a visit to Fulbright University Vietnam, Murkowski met with students interested in pursuing careers in public service.

Senator Murkowski also toured the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site at the Hue Citadel, which was a key battle during the 1968 Tet Offensive. Murkowski attended the ribbon cutting event for dioxin remediation at Bien Hoa Air Base, the largest project of its kind that will reclaim lands contaminated during the Vietnam War. Murkowski also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Intent, between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Vietnamese government, which will focus on supporting health and disability programs for people with disabilities due to Agent Orange exposure.

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Discussing opportunities to help eliminate ocean plastics and marine debris during a meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam.

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Taking part in the ribbon cutting ceremony to launch a clean-up campaign at Bien Hoa, a former U.S air base in Vietnam, used to store the toxic chemical Agent Orange.

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Taking part in a meeting in Hue, Vietnam, to discuss unexploded ordinances left behind from the Vietnam War, which still pose a threat to Vietnamese peoples today. 

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Attending USAID’s signing of a Memorandum of Intent in Saigon Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam, to assist Vietnamese peoples living with disabilities as a result of exposure to Agent Orange and dioxin.

The congressional delegation trip included Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).