Rep. Loretta Sanchez Blasts North Korea and Backs Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) has issued a statement condemning North Korea for firing dozens of artillery shells at South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, killing two South Korean soldiers and wounding 15.

The freshly reelected congresswoman, who is the ranking female member on the House Armed Services Committee, also reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to South Korea in her statement, which follows after the jump . . .

November 23, 2010
* Rep. Sanchez Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to South Korea in Statement
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-47), the ranking female member on the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement regarding news that two South Korean soldiers were killed and fifteen were wounded after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island:
"As the ranking female member on the House Armed Services Committee, I strongly condemn North Korea's recent hostile attack against South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island. As a result of North Korea's unprovoked, irresponsible actions, two South Korean marines have been killed and fifteen soldiers and civilians have been wounded. North Korea bears full responsibility for this tragic loss of life, as well as creating additional hostility and uncertainty in a region already ripe with tension.
"In the wake of this attack, the U.S. and South Korea have joined together to send the message that our nations will not tolerate acts of military aggression by North Korea or any other state. The U.S.-South Korea alliance is strong and we are committed to securing the region from potential threats. For the sake of the entire region, North Korea must show more restraint in its actions moving forward."
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez is proud to represent California's 47th Congressional District, which includes the cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and parts of Fullerton. Rep. Sanchez serves as Vice Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee and is the ranking female member on the House Armed Services Committee. She is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and sits on the bipartisan, bicameral Joint Economic Committee.

A different section of the Far East was on Sanchez's mind earlier in the day, as the co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Vietnam joined fellow members Reps. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-Louisiana), Iliana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Florida) and Frank Wolf (R-Virginia), in introducing H.R. 6433, the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act.

Mirroring a Senate bill introduced by Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act "would impose sanctions on individuals who perpetrate or are complicit in human rights abuses committed against nationals of Vietnam or their family members. Individuals who warrant sanctions would be disqualified from applying for a U.S. visa or taking part in financial or property transactions in the U.S., among other penalties."

"For years, Congress has expressed concern regarding Vietnam's ongoing disregard for the basic civil and political liberties of its people," Sanchez says in a release issued by her office earlier today. "These statements have undoubtedly raised public awareness of Vietnam's egregious human rights abuses. But more must be done if we expect Vietnam to take concrete action on this issue. By making improvements in human rights a condition of continued diplomatic relations with Vietnam, I believe the Vietnam Human Rights Sanctions Act will create positive change for the people of Vietnam."


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