On April 21, Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) attended a luncheon hosted by the Korean American Association of Washington Metropolitan Area in Annandale, Virginia, to discuss issues impacting America’s Korean-American community and the Asian community at large, as well as U.S. policy in the Asia-Pacific region.
In conversation with Vision Times, Warner said, “I think we have to redefine national security in 2023. It is not simply who has the most tanks and guns. It really is a question of who is going to be the most successful in technology development,” adding that “China is very aggressive,” while clarifying that the threat is not from the Chinese people but the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Warner lauded the Biden administration’s implementation of the CHIPS bill, known as the CHIPS and Science Act, which was enacted last year via an executive order while acknowledging China’s rampant intellectual property theft, saying that “China steals $500 billion of intellectual property [from America] each year.”
Speaking to South Korea’s contributions, he said that “Korea is actually investing more in the semiconductor industry than America,” adding that the issue is not only about the United States versus China, but that “it needs to be the United States and our friends like Korea and our friends across Asia, India, across Europe … a broad coalition of democracies,” working together.
He said in order to gain an advantage in technological development that America and its allies need to invest in more than just semiconductors. “We need investment in artificial intelligence, in quantum computing, in battery technology and synthetic biology,” he said, adding that he hoped President Biden and South Korea’s president Yoon Suk-yeol would soon discuss investments in these areas. “I’ve been pushing this very hard,” Warner said.
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On the topic of North Korea, Warner said that it seems like whenever dictator Kim Jong Un doesn’t get “enough world attention he sets off another missile,” and that America’s alliances in the region “have to hold him accountable.”
When asked about the issue of unifying families between the two Koreas, Warner said that the “major issue in the Republic of Korea [South Korea], with different presidents, it seems like there’s been more ability to have family reunification.”
Last year South Korea’s government proposed a meeting with North Korea to resume reunions of families separated since the 1950–1953 Korean War, despite the long-standing tensions between the two countries. Officials in Seoul estimate that between 600,000 and 700,000 South Koreans have relatives in the North.
“I think they [North Korea] basically … hold some of these families almost hostage for political purposes rather than allowing family reunification,” he said, adding that, “I think that is cruel and I wish there was more compassion from North Korea.”