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Edward R.
Republican CA 39

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  • Condemning North Korean Nuclear Test

    by Representative Edward R. Royce

    Posted on 2013-02-15

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    ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution (H. Res. 65) condemning the Government of North Korea for its flagrant and repeated violations of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, for its repeated provocations that threaten international peace and stability, and for its February 12, 2013, test of a nuclear device, as amended.

    The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

    The text of the resolution is as follows: H. Res. 65 Whereas, on February 12, 2013, North Korea exploded a nuclear device; Whereas reports indicate that the nuclear test was apparently more powerful than North Korea's previous tests in 2006 and 2009; Whereas North Korea's nuclear test, and its recent ballistic missile test, are violations of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1695 (2006), Resolution 1718 (2006), Resolution 1874 (2009), and Resolution 2087 (2013); Whereas North Korea's ballistic missile program poses a threat to United States allies and interests in the Asia Pacific region; Whereas North Korea's ballistic missile program has demonstrated an increasing ability to reach the United States, and could constitute a grave threat to the security of the American people; Whereas North Korea has violated the July 27, 1953, Armistice Agreement that ended the Korean War, and has since committed unprovoked acts of war against South Korea by sinking the warship Cheonan, killing 46 of her crew, and by attacking civilian targets on the island of Yeongpyeong, killing four residents, among many other willful violations and outrages; Whereas the Government of North Korea has been implicated repeatedly in the illicit laundering of monetary instruments, in international narcotics trafficking, and in the counterfeiting of United States currency and intellectual property; Whereas North Korea has demonstrated a willingness and ability to proliferate its ballistic and nuclear technology to a variety of countries, including Iran and Syria, both United States designated state sponsors of terrorism; Whereas the Government of North Korea commits gross human rights violations against the North Korean people, including maintaining a system of gulags that imprison thousands of citizens, and policies that have resulted in starvation deaths of over 2,000,000 people; and Whereas the Government of North Korea has repeatedly violated its commitments to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantlement of its nuclear weapons program, including the Agreed Framework of 1994, the Joint Statement of September 19, 2005, and the agreement of February 13, 2007: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (1) condemns the Government of North Korea for its flagrant and repeated violations of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, for its repeated provocations that threaten international peace and stability, and for its February 12, 2013, test of a nuclear device; (2) expresses solidarity with the people of North Korea who suffer severe oppression, denial of basic human rights and political liberties, and material deprivation; (3) reaffirms the commitment of the United States to its alliances with Japan and South Korea, which are critical for the preservation of peace and stability in Northeast Asia and throughout the region; (4) calls upon the People's Republic of China, North Korea's closest ally and trading partner, to pressure North Korean leaders to curtail their provocative behavior, abandon and dismantle their nuclear and missile programs through the curtailing of vital economic support and trade to North Korea that support the Government of North Korea, and comply with all relevant international agreements and United Nations Security Council and International Atomic Energy Agency resolutions; (5) calls on the People's Republic of China to take immediate actions to prevent the transshipment of illicit technology, military equipment, and dual-use items through its territory, waters, and airspace that could be used in North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs; and (6) calls on the United States Government-- (A) to apply all available sanctions on North Korea, cooperate with United States allies and other countries to impose additional sanctions on North Korea, and secure a new United Nations Security Council resolution imposing stronger sanctions; (B) to utilize aggressively the range of available legal authorities and resources to defend United States interests against North Korean illicit activities; and (C) to support the President's commitment to strengthen the United States ballistic missile defense system to protect the United States.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) each will control 20 minutes.

    The chair recognizes the gentleman from California.

    General Leave Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous materials on this resolution.

    The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from California? There was no objection.

    Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

    What I want to share with the body is that, on February 12 of 2013, North Korea successfully carried out a nuclear test--a test in flagrant violation of numerous international sanctions and of numerous agreements that North Korea has made in the past.

    This test, which is the third time that North Korea has exploded a nuclear device, is a stark reminder that Kim Jong Un is determined to develop his nuclear arsenal while depriving North Koreans of their most basic human rights. When I say their ``most basic human rights,'' we had an opportunity to speak with the former propaganda minister of North Korea, who told us that 1.9 million North Koreans starved while this regime, in violating every agreement it had made with the international community, plowed forward with a plan to develop nuclear weapons.

    North Korea has literally spent billions on its nuclear and its three-stage ICBM program, and that is all money that could have provided enough food to feed this country for years. If you've ever been in North Korea, you've seen [[Page H556]] that the children there are malnourished. As a matter of fact, up to 50 percent of the children are so malnourished that it is estimated that it's going to affect their future development and their ability to really think conceptually because of the degree of deprivation there.

    In the meantime, it also continues to build up its military. This week's test comes only 2 months after the launch of a North Korean intercontinental missile, leaving no doubt in my mind that decades of fruitless negotiations, frankly, have been a failure.

    North Korea is a pariah state that has attacked its neighbors many times. Just last month, Ranking Member Eliot Engel of New York and I had the opportunity to visit the wreckage of the South Korean naval vessel Cheonan, and there we saw the evidence where 46 South Korean sailors lost their lives in 2011--victim to a North Korean torpedo that was fired at that ship. I cannot imagine the anguish that this despicable act has caused for so many of those parents of those young sailors in South Korea.

    {time} 0920 The shared sacrifice that South Koreans and Americans have endured as a result of North Korean aggression is a sacred, inseparable bond between our two peoples. This resolution appropriately stands by South Korea and Japan, our allies in northeast Asia.

    As North Korea continues to disregard international norms, it's important for this House to speak out, but we must do more. In the coming weeks, I will introduce legislation that targets North Korea's ability to access hard currency.

    In my conversations with President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea and President-elect Park Geun-hye, I have always stressed the importance of targeted sanctions so that we can bring about change inside North Korea. When dictators cannot pay their generals, they cannot test nuclear weapons and launch missiles. This was an important lesson of the financial sanctions we put on Banco Delta Asia and other banks in the past that have dealt with the North Korean regimes; and, as a result of that imposition at the time, it brought to a halt the ability of the North Korean regime to pay its generals.

    Mr. Speaker, America's policy on North Korea has been a bipartisan failure. We can no longer just hope that North Korea is going to give up its weapons in exchange for aid. It is time we come together to hold this regime responsible for all the pain and suffering that it has caused, and do so by imposing this access to hard currency restriction. I cannot envision a scenario where Kim Jong Un voluntarily gives up the one weapon that, frankly, keeps his dynasty in power.

    Reports indicate that North Korea's nuclear program is getting more powerful and its missiles are flying further. If North Korea is allowed to continue down this path, frankly, we all lose. The time to act is now.

    Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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