Sen. Lisa Murkowski has returned from a trip to South Korea and Vietnam with Senate members, where she visited the Demilitarized Zone, discussed energy related issues, and focused on topics including trade and the U.S. relationship with North Korea.
“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,” Murkowski said.
“The important work that USAID and its NGO partners are doing in Vietnam, including dioxin remediation and disposing of unexploded ordnance, 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,” she said.
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).
In South Korea, Murkowski toured the DMZ, including the Joint Security Area. Murkowski met with the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Harry Harrison and U.S. and Swiss military officials to discuss the U.S.-North Korea relationship, ongoing military relationships, and energy production.
In Vietnam, she discussed energy, trade, legacy of war, and other issues with Ho Chi Minh City Party Secretary Nguyen Thien Nhan. Murkowski met with other top government officials as well as with representatives from non-governmental organizations involved with the disposal of unexploded ordnance to discuss clean-up options.
Murkowski toured the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 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. She also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of intent between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Vietnamese government, which will focus on supporting health and disability programs for people with disabilities due to Agent Orange exposure.