Korean Americans decry Trump’s comments about deaths “over there”

Posted on : 2017-08-06 14:21 KST Modified on : 2017-08-06 14:21 KST
Instead of inflammatory rhetoric, groups urge “the non-military option: dialogue, engagement, and diplomacy”
Council of Korean Americans executive director Sam Yoon
Council of Korean Americans executive director Sam Yoon

The Council of Korean Americans (CKA), a group of second-generation Korean politicians, attorneys, and businesspeople in the US, has come out criticizing President Donald Trump’s willingness to risk war on the Korean Peninsula and demanding direct dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington.

During an Aug. 1 television appearance, Senator Lindsey Graham quoted Trump as having said, “If there’s going to be a war to stop him [Kim Jong-un], it will be over there [on the Korean Peninsula]. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die over here [in the US].”

In an Aug. 2 letter to CKA members, executive director Sam Yoon wrote, “This kind of rhetoric is unacceptable to Korean Americans, who came from ‘over there’ and who have family, relatives, and a shared history with the people from ‘over there.’”

“As Americans who love this country, we should speak loudly every time someone in power devalues the lives of people from somewhere other than ‘here,’” he continued. “The United States is a country of immigrants, and people ‘over there’ matter.”

Yoon went on to say that US President and Congress “have not done nearly enough to pursue the non-military option: dialogue, engagement, and diplomacy.”

“We urge President Trump to stop pursuing a failing US policy toward North Korea and to begin talks immediately,” he said.

In an official statement on July 31, the group urged the Trump administration to “pursue more consistent, frequent, and direct senior-level talks with the North Korean government – and through more diverse channels including diplomatic, military, and intelligence – without unnecessary preconditions.”

Launched in 2010 and active chiefly since 2012, CKA is the US’s sole second-generation Korean-American group, with its roughly 150 members mostly including professionals, government employees, and businesspeople. In 2015 and 2016, it invited World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to fundraising dinners.

By Yi Yong-in, Washington correspondent

Please direct questions or comments to [english@hani.co.kr]

button that move to original korean article (클릭시 원문으로 이동하는 버튼)

Most viewed articles