Illinois U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-17) talked about her recent visit to South Korea.
Bustos was part of the first congressional delegation to visit South Korea since the June 12 meeting of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Bustos, during a Wednesday conference call with reporters, said she was impressed to learn more about how the Rock Island Arsenal provides equipment and logistical support to U.S. military installations in South Korea.
“The significance of this trip is understanding, from a local perspective, how important the Air National Guard in Peoria, the Rock Island Arsenal and the aerospace work that is done in Rockford is to our national security,” Bustos said.
Bustos visited the Demilitarized Zone, Osan Air Force Base and Camp Humphreys. She also met with officials from the American Embassy and members of the National Assembly of South Korea.
Bustos says she sensed the feeling in South Korea was the meeting between Trump and Kim was a good thing, but, “In the end, I think what we as Americans have to look for is the complete, verifiable and transparent removal of nuclear weapons from North Korea.”
“What makes it impossible to solve this is if we ignore the problem. And we’re not ignoring the problem,” Bustos said. “It’s not going to happen overnight.”
“In the short time I was there you could see what Koreans value, relationship building is very, very important,” Bustos said. “I think that’s a good step that is being taken right now. But we have a long way to go before there’s complete denuclearization of North Korea and that has to be the end goal.”
Speaking on another topic, Bustos said, if she had a vote, she would oppose the president’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bustos said, for her, it comes down to health care.
“We’ve already got a fight on our hands at the legislative level and now we’re looking at something for the next generation or two that’s at stake at the judicial level,” Bustos said.
“Literally we have the health of millions of people in our country, and I’m talking about senior citizens and our children, who have pre-existing conditions,” Bustos said.
“I worked in health care for ten years and I know what it was like when insurance companies could deny coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, including women who just by their gender was considered a pre-existing condition,” Bustos said. “I know what can happen when they could overcharge people because of a pre-existing condition. That’s what’s at stake here.”
Bustos also criticized the Trump administration’s plans to freeze payments under an “Obamacare” program that protects insurers with sicker patients from financial losses. The move is expected to add to premium increases next year.