Weldon Korea Peace Initiative

Congressman Curt Weldon (1987-2007)

Korean Initiatives

Congressman Curt Weldon served 20 years in the United States House of Representatives and retired in 2007. When Weldon retired he was Vice Chairman of both the Armed Services Committee as well as the Homeland Security Committee. During his tenure in Congress Weldon focused heavily on issues involving Korea.

In 1989 Weldon was part of the first US Delegation to travel to Panmunjom to receive the remains of US military personnel from the DPRK government in a formal ceremony. During the stop in Seoul Weldon met with the Korean President at Blue House.

As Chairman of every Sub-Committee of the Armed Services Committee Weldon spent considerable time on DPRK (North Korea)’s program for production of weapons of mass destruction. Weldon became the House expert on North Korea’s missile programs and proliferation activities. Weldon was a frequent guest lecturer on North Korea’s military system and capabilities.

Weldon was named by Speaker Dennis Hastert to serve on the Speaker’s Task Force on North Korea which produced an extensive report on offensive military programs and proliferation violations of the North Korean government.

Weldon lead the effort to establish a formal dialogue with the South Korean Parliament and helped initiate the process that lead to annual meetings and agenda setting conferences between the two Parliaments. Weldon became friends with Members of the South Korean Parliament from both major political parties.

For 6 years Weldon initiated and worked to develop a long term plan to create a strategy for peace on the Korean Peninsula. His development of the PNG Project was designed to build an energy pipeline from Eastern Russia at Sakhalin to supply petroleum products to South Korea along the bi-lateral rail corridor. Weldon championed this initiative in the US, Russia, South Korea, China and in North Korea on both of his visits to Pyongyang.

Weldon was one of the first Members of Congress informed by the Bush Administration that the US had hard evidence of North Korea’s deliberate violations of the 1994 Agreed Framework. While Weldon was a tireless opponent of North Korea’s offensive military and nuclear program Weldon also believed that informal dialogue with DPRK’s political leadership was absolutely essential.

Weldon was invited by the State Department and DPRK to participate in 3 US based conferences between select leadership of the United States (including then Senator Joe Biden) and North Korea’s Foreign Ministry. Weldon and Biden were the only two Members of Congress involved in these informal discussions. During this time Weldon also was invited to present Keynote Lectures on US/DPRK relations at Stanford, University of Georgia, Korean Economic Forum, The Korea Society, and numerous regional and local organizations.

In 2004 Weldon lead the first US Congressional Delegation into North Korea and met for 6 hours with Lead negotiator Kim Gye Gwan and top leaders of DPRK government. On the eve of the trip into Pyongyang Weldon’s Delegation was honored by Hyundai Chairman Chung at Hyundai Headquarters with a large dinner attended by public and private leaders of South Korea. On this trip Weldon developed the Weldon Korean Peace Initiative that consisted of a two-part ten point 6 party peace process that was enthusiastically received by DPRK leadership.

In 2005 Weldon lead the second US Congressional Delegation into Pyongyang convincing DPRK to continue involvement in the 6 Party Peace Process. After each trip Weldon briefed South Korea’s President at Blue House and Secretary of State Colin Powell and senior US officials. During the 2nd trip Weldon’s Delegation also briefed senior leadership of Russia, China and Japan in their respective capitals.

Weldon’s trips to Seoul often involved KITA and senior business leaders. In 2007 Weldon’s visit to Seoul was hosted by KITA Chairman and Board of Directors. On that trip Weldon gave a Keynote Lecture to the Association of Retired Four Star Generals which was also attended by the former Prime Minister.

Weldon has returned to Seoul on several occasions since leaving Congress and has established a business relationship was Dr. Syung Je Park (senior economic/military analyst and advisor) and Ambassador/General Jangnai Sohn (ret) working together on ongoing US/Korean business relations. Weldon has consulted for Hyundai Corporation in Libya and continues to represent other Korean interests.

In the summer of 2009 Weldon was approached by 7 senior bi-partisan Members of the US Congress to arrange another US Congressional trip into Pyongyang. Weldon met with DPRK Minister Lee at the UN Mission and received approval for a third Congressional visit to Pyongyang. Weldon briefed key State Department and NSC Staff and is waiting final approval for that trip to take place and has been asked to accompany the Delegation when the trip occurs.

Korean Activities/Initiatives Timeline


Led Bi-Partisan Congressional Delegation to Russia, China and South Korea and waited in Seoul for approval to take Delegation to Pyongyang for 1st US Congressional Visit as well as discussion on PNG as key part of  solution for settlement of nuclear crisis. Hyundai Chairman hosted dinner  in honor of the Delegation’s visit.

Members –

  • Curt Weldon – Vice Chair – Armed Services
  • Silvestre Reyes – Texas
  • Roscoe Bartlett –  Maryland
  • Joe Wilson – South Carolina
  • Mike Turner – Ohio

Traveled to North Korea Mission at the UN for personal visit with Ambassador Han Song Rol requesting approval to lead Congressional Delegation to Pyongyang

  • Drafted Bi-Partisan letter of invitation signed by Congressmen Curt Weldon, Solomon Ortiz, Joe Wilson, and Silvestre Reyes addressed to Kim Jong Il to participate in bi-lateral discussions with Members of Congress which could also include Members of the Russian Duma.

Led Bi-Partisan Congressional Delegation to North Korea and South Korea for first face-to-face discussions with Kim Gye Gwan and Foreign Ministry Leadership and US Congressional Delegation. Discussions included full support for 6 Party Peace process as well as PNG. Weldon outlined 2 Part – 10 Step Peace Plan that was enthusiastically received by North Korean Delegation.

Members –

  • Curt Weldon
  • Silvestre Reyes
  • Roscoe Bartlett
  • Eliot Engel
  • Joe Wilson
  • Solomon Ortiz


Invited to participate in 3 US Conferences with North Korean Foreign Ministry Leaders at Univ of Georgia, Stanford and Senate Hearing Room

Attendees –

  • Curt Weldon
  • Joe Biden
  • Selig Harrison
  • Frank Januzzi (Biden’s Staff Leader)

Invited to lead 2nd Congressional Delegation to Pyongyang in August – 10 Member Bi-Partisan Congressional Delegation organized and prepared to travel – Rice pulls the plug on a plane/trip cancelled


Led 2nd Bi-Partisan Congressional Delegation to Russia, North Korea, South Korea, China and Japan to continue discussions with senior leaders including North Korean President, Kim Gye Gwan and Foreign Ministry Officials. Discussions included support for 6 Party Peace Process and PNG as part of ultimate resolution of nuclear crisis.

Members –

  • Curt Weldon
  • Solomon Ortiz
  • Silvestre Reyes
  • Jeff Miller
  • Joe Wilson
  • Roscoe Bartlett

Numerous other speeches and presentations on PNG were given to the following –

  • Korea Society – New York City
  • Japan Foundation – Tokyo
  • Russian Duma – Moscow
  • Korea Economic Forum – DC
  • North Korean Conference – Stanford
  • Korean Congressional Caucus – DC
  • Corea Conference – Philadelphia
  • Dallas World Affairs Council – Dallas
  • Foreign Policy Research Institute – Philadelphia

Constant contact and counsel for all activities was kept with National Security Advisor Steve Hadley and State Department Korean Expert John Merrill. Transportation for North Korean trips was provided by US military. Translator on both North Korean visits was provided by senior Korean State Department Translator Tong Kim.

2009 – Congressional Delegation

The Delegation is being organized and will be coordinated by Congressman Curt Weldon (1987-2007). Weldon led the first two US Congressional Delegations into North Korea and participated in 3 sessions in the United States with DPRK officials, including Co-Chairing an event with Senator Joe Biden in the US Senate, a 3 day Conference with DPRK officials at the University of Georgia which included Biden’s Foreign Policy Staff Expert and the hosted the visit by DPRK officials to the United States House of Representatives. Weldon has also given speeches regarding US/DPRK relations to the Korean Society in NYC, Stanford University, Korean Energy Council and will be the Keynote Speaker in July at the Center for Politics and Foreign Policy in Paris.

The Delegation will consist of the following –

Democrat Chairman

Solomon Ortiz (Texas)

  • Chairman – Military Readiness Committee

Sylvestre Reyes (Texas)

  • Chairman – Intelligence Oversight Committee

Eliot Engel (New York)

  • Chairman – Foreign Affairs (Western Hemisphere Committee)

Republican Chairman –

Roscoe Bartlett (Maryland)

  • Vice Chairman – Military Procurement Committee

Joe Wilson (South Carolina)

  • Senior Member – Military Oversight Committee

Jeff Miller (Florida)

  • Senior Member – Military Oversight Committee

All of the above have traveled to North Korea with Congressman Weldon in the past on both trips. There is also a possibility that Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii) may also join the Delegation. Neil is Chairman of the Military Procurement (Air/Land) Committee

Travel will be military aircraft, as in the past and would include necessary staff (4) and translator. The trip would last 4 days. The Delegation would request an invitation as soon as possible.

Requested meetings would include top officials of the DPRK government, including Kim Jong Il, Kim Gye Gwan as well as emerging leader Kim Jong Un.

As in the past, the Delegation would not be representing the President nor the Secretary of State. The Delegation, as Members of Congress with oversight responsibility, seeks to continue the positive dialogue that existed on the two previous trips to Pyongyang.

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