Feb 10 2016

Fischer Votes to Strengthen Sanctions on North Korea

Bipartisan North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act Takes Action to Stop Financial Support of Dictator’s Regime

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, released the following statement after voting for enhanced sanctions on North Korea:

“For years, the hostile actions of the North Korean regime have continued without a forceful response from the United States, despite the growing threat to our own nation and our allies in the region. Pyongyang’s growing aggression, from alleged nuclear tests to cyber vandalism, underscores the need to stop the flow of resources that support this behavior and hold those who do business with the regime accountable.

“As chairman of the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, I have witnessed North Korea demonstrate its aggression through increasingly brazen cyber-attacks. By passing this bill, we gain enhanced tools to weaken the regime and its financial resources. We cannot continue to ignore this belligerence and the atrocious human rights abuses North Korea inflicts on its own people.”

Over the past year, North Korea has continued belligerent actions and accelerated its efforts to increase nuclear stockpiles, engage in cyber-attacks, and destabilize the region. Meanwhile, U.S. policy has been vacant and reactionary.

This afternoon, the U.S. Senate took action by passing bipartisan legislation that includes broad new sanctions to cripple the regime. The bill, known as H.R. 757, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016, passed the Senate 96-0 and includes the following provisions:

  • Expands and tightens enforcement of sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, as well as other destructive activities of the Kim regime.
  • Requires the president to impose sanctions against persons who materially contribute to North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development. 
  • Imposes sanctions on individuals who import luxury goods into North Korea, enable censorship and human rights abuses, engage in money laundering and the manufacture of counterfeit goods, traffic narcotics, and conduct activities that undermine cybersecurity. 
  • These sanctions also apply to individuals who have sold, supplied, or transferred precious metals or raw metals to North Korea. This includes aluminum, steel, and coal that would benefit the regime and its illicit activities.
  • Improves enforcement of multilateral sanctions, provide an overall strategy, beyond mere sanctions, to combat North Korean cyber activities, and addresses the horrific human rights situation in North Korea more forcefully.

With the passage of this legislation today, Congress has clearly signaled it is time for a more responsible policy toward North Korea. Going forward, Senator Fischer hopes the president will aggressively implement these new measures and take full advantage of the authority provided to him. She believes it is time to increase pressure on the North Korean regime and those who are complicit in its dangerous activities.

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