North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Posted on 2016-01-11
ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I am so proud and pleased to be here
speaking on behalf of this bill, H.R. 757, the North Korea Sanctions
Enforcement Act. I thank Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel for
introducing this important bill which, once again, is presented in
their usual bipartisan manner.
While initial reports, Mr. Speaker, cast doubt on North Korea's claims that it carried out a hydrogen bomb test, any enhancement of the regime's nuclear capability should be--must be--a cause for concern. Both U.S. and South Korean intelligence assessments indicate that North Korea already possesses the capability to install a nuclear warhead on a missile that can reach United States territory or that of our allies.
Despite some doubt about that capability's effectiveness, it is just a matter of time before North Korea finishes developing this dangerous technology that it is seeking or, worse, shares this technology with Iran, as these two rogue regimes are bosom buddies and have long been known to collaborate on their ballistic missile programs.
What is clear is that our current policy toward North Korea is not working. Administrations from both parties, Mr. Speaker, have made mistakes with North Korea over the years. They have failed to respond to North Korea's violation of its nuclear deal and have failed to hold the regime accountable for its illicit activity. Administration after administration have removed North Korea off the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and continue to keep the regime off that list despite mounting evidence that would support its inclusion back on the terrorism list. Various administrations have utterly failed to enforce the North Korea sanctions that we already have on the books.
The Obama administration's so-called strategic patience policy with North Korea has proven to be a disaster, and it is time that we fully and vigorously enforce the existing sanctions and expand upon those to implement new sanctions on Pyongyang until its nuclear program is dismantled.
By some estimates, North Korea might already have 10 to 15 nuclear weapons, and Kim Jong-un has shown that he will stop at nothing to get the weapons and the technology that he desires. This bill would help ensure that our sanctions on North Korea are finally being enforced the way they always should have been, but we can't forget that North Korea cannot make progress on its nuclear program alone.
North Korea has a long history of collaborating with other rogue regimes, and we must ensure that we are enforcing sanctions on all of its collaborators. Any government entity or individual that has sold or transferred weapons or technology to North Korea in violation of U.S. law or U.N. Security Council resolution should also be targeted for sanctions.
Mr. Speaker, I will end with this note: North Korea has been writing the playbook for rogue regimes to follow, and unless this administration gets serious about confronting Pyongyang's aggressions, I worry that it will continue to allow Iran to take advantage of us, that we won't enforce sanctions on Tehran, just like we are not enforcing them on North Korea.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.