Grace Meng Wants to Help Reunite Korean Americans with Family in North Korea
Approximately 100,000 Korean Americans have been separated from their relatives in North Korea since the Korean War in the 1950’s. Since 2000, South Korea and North Korea have held over 20 family reunions; however, there has not been an official channel for Korean Americans to be included. To help these families reunite, Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY)last week introduced legislation that would require the Secretary of State and the U.S. Special Envoy on North Korea Human Rights Issues to prioritize helping divided Korean American families reunite with family members in North Korea. The Divided Families Reunification Act would do this by requiring the Secretary of State -- or their designee -- to consult with South Korean officials on potential family reunion opportunities for American families and their relatives in North Korea. It would also require the Special Envoy on North Korea Human Rights Issues to consult bi-annually with representatives of Americans with family members in North Korea about its efforts to support family reunions and to report to Congress on opportunities to utilize video conference technology to encourage virtual reunions. “There are so many American families who desperately want to reunite with their loved ones in North Korea and my bill would go a long way towards making that happen,” said Meng. “Americans who have relatives in North Korea are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. Time is not on their side which is why we must immediately pass my bill to provide much needed relief for these divided families.” More here.