OK, so the State Department’s in turmoil. No problem; the U.S.’s closest allies know whose door to knock on when they come calling in our nation’s capital — Cory Gardner’s, of course! At least, when it comes to South Korea. The Republican U.S. senator from Yuma has, after all, become an ad hoc point man for U.S. policy toward the Korean Peninsula amid North Korea’s nuclear brinkmanship.
This week, Gardner’s office announced, he hosted a visit to his office from South Korea’s foreign minister, H.E. Kyung-Wha Kang:
In his capacity as Subcommittee Chairman, Gardner welcomed the Foreign Minister to the United States and hosted a discussion with several other members of the Foreign Relations Committee. …
… Senator Gardner has been the leader in the Senate on efforts to bring a peaceful denuclearization to the Korean Peninsula. Gardner is the author of the Leverage to Enhance Effective Diplomacy Act (LEED). This bipartisan legislation requires the President to impose an economic embargo on North Korea and its enablers. Additionally, it requires the President to block any entity or financial institution implicated in any significant trade with North Korea from the U.S. financial system.
Gardner’s office notes he is also the author of the North Korea Sanctions Policy and Enhancement Act, which “marked the first time Congress imposed stand-alone mandatory sanctions on North Korea.”
Gardner really earned his bona fides on Korean affairs last year, when a North Korean news service, channeling erratic North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un, assailed Colorado’s junior senator as a man “who has lost basic judgment and body hair.”
Sure, it’s impressive enough when friendly foreign dignitaries drop by your office, but when unfriendly ones call you a “psychopath,” you know you’ve arrived.
Especially given a now-Tillerson-less State Department, it’s reassuring to know there’s a steady hand on the, ahem, tiller. One whom Donald Trump can’t fire. (The president does know he can’t fire a U.S. senator, right?)