Introducing The Congressional Study Group on Korea

FMC Launches Fourth Congressional Study Group, Focusing on Korea.

Congressional Study Group on Korea will allow Members of Congress, staff, to learn more about critical United States ally.


(Washington, D.C.) — FMC (The Association of Former Members of Congress) is proud to announce the launch of its newest Congressional Study Group, focusing on the Republic of Korea.

The Congressional Study Group on Korea will be the newest of four independent, non-partisan international legislative exchanges committed to increasing dialogue with the United States’ strategic allies. Through the Congressional Study Groups, FMC facilitates a bipartisan dialogue involving elected officials from overseas with current Members of Congress and their staff.

“We are excited to facilitate important dialogue between Members of Congress and their counterparts in South Korea, especially at this moment in the U.S.-Korean relationship,” said Pete Weichlein, CEO of FMC. “Our history of providing substantive leadership, in a bipartisan and non-advocacy format, is appreciated by both Members of Congress and their staff. I look forward to continuing that tradition with the Congressional Study Group on Korea.”

Each Study Group is chaired by a bipartisan group of current Members of Congress. The Congressional Study Group on Korea will be chaired by U.S. Reps. Ami Bera (D-Calif.) and Mike Kelly (R-Penn.).

“I’m proud to serve as the first co-chair of the Congressional Study Group on Korea,” said Bera. “While the United States and Republic of Korea share many security concerns, what truly binds us together are our common ideals and shared values of democracy. In these challenging times, we cannot allow any distance to come between us. I am honored to continue advancing the friendship between our people.”

Dozens of Representatives and Senators participate in Capitol Hill programs, diplomatic corps events and study missions organized by FMC, whose Congressional Study groups are focused on Germany, Japan and Europe. FMC is thrilled to add the Republic of Korea to this impactful peer-to-peer exchange.

“Better understanding our allies and trading partners is an important way for Congress to better be able to protect our country and grow our economy,” said Kelly. “I know that working with the Congressional Study Group on Korea will give my colleagues a more thorough look at Korean history, politics, economics and culture, allowing us to grow that better understanding. I look forward to encouraging both my colleagues and our staff to participate in the wonderful programming that FMC has always delivered with their Congressional Study Groups.”

As with all Study Groups, the Congressional Study Group on Korea is supported by organizations committed to the goals of CSG programming. FMC is honored to partner with the Korea Foundation and the Korea Society on this new endeavor.

“We have seen the incredible work done by FMC with their other Study Groups and look forward to seeing this important exchange be translated to the U.S.-Korean relationship,” said Sihyung Lee, President of the Korea Foundation. “We are happy this wonderful opportunity will be provided to Members of Congress, to help increase understanding of the vital friendship between the United States and the Republic of Korea.”

At a time when focus on the Korean peninsula and its neighbors is sharper than at any time in the past several decades, FMC programming will allow the Congressional Study Group on Korea to provide education and discussion about Korea’s vital role in the region, political interactions, economic and trade challenges to Members of Congress and their senior staff.

“Nothing promotes awareness and understanding between two nations better than people-to-people exchanges,” said Tom Byrne, President of the Korea Society, a private, non-partisan organization established in New York City 60 years ago. “We look forward to partnering with FMC to facilitate a bilateral dialogue on economic, trade, security and other public policy issues. That goal is consistent with the Korea Society’s mission.”

FMC is a bipartisan nonprofit, chartered by Congress that receives no taxpayer money earmarked by Congress. Domestically, FMC’s main focus is engaging the next generation in public service and their representative government. Through FMC, for the past 40 years, more than 600 Former Members of Congress have visited colleges and universities in an effort to encourage the next generation of leaders, helped further civic education in high schools and among the general public, conducted election monitoring overseas, hosted international Congressional Study Groups for current Members, and supported the nation’s wounded warriors.