Pro-Seoul rep chairs key body

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Pro-Seoul rep chairs key body

WASHINGTON - The new head of a committee in the U.S. Congress that will help shape U.S. policies for the Korean Peninsula is known for his friendliness toward South Korea.

Representative Donald Manzullo, 66, Republican from Illinois, was appointed chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on Dec. 21. The committee comes under his leadership next month.

“Congressman Manzullo’s strong support for our ally, South Korea, in wake of North Korea’s string of unprovoked aggression is just the latest example of the strong leadership he has provided for our committee on U.S. policy toward Asia,” Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee, said in a release after Manzullo’s appointment.

“He also understands the critical role of our relationship with Japan in providing stability and security in this region, as well as the need to hold China accountable for its economic policies and its assistance to the proliferation efforts of North Korea, Iran, and other rogue regimes,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

Manzullo, in a statement, said he will chair the committee to help “implement our nation’s trade and political agenda in this key region of the world.”

Manzullo was elected to the House of Representatives in Illinois’ 16th Congressional district in 1992 and has been re-elected 10 consecutive times. He was the member of the subcommittee for the past four years and was the highest ranking Republican. He assumed chairmanship because his party won a majority of the seats in the House in the November midterm elections.

Before politics, Manzullo was a businessman with a legal background, his aides said. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he earned a law degree from Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wis.

According to an official at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, Manzullo has a deep interest in South Korea, deep knowledge about the peninsula, and will strongly support the Seoul-Washington alliance and South Korean policies regarding the North.

Manzullo issued an individual statement condemning North Korea after the deadly shelling of Yeonpyeong Island on Nov. 23, which killed four South Koreans, including two citizens. He also played a leading role in passing a House resolution that denounced North Korea.


By Kim Jung-wook [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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