February 06, 2016

Corker Condemns North Korean Missile Launch

Senate to Debate Gardner-Menendez North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 This Week

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today condemned North Korea’s illicit missile launch and called for a more proactive U.S. approach to deal with the growing North Korean nuclear threat. The Senate is expected to debate and pass the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (Gardner-Menendez) this week.

“I strongly condemn this latest provocation which demonstrates once again the need for a more proactive U.S. approach to eliminate the growing North Korea nuclear and ballistic missile threat,” said Corker. “The Senate will push back this week with legislation that targets a wide-range of the regime’s illicit activities as part of a comprehensive policy to seek peaceful disarmament and promote human rights for the North Korean people.”

The bipartisan, Gardner-Menendez bill, which was approved unanimously by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in January, will expand and tighten enforcement of sanctions for North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development and other destructive activities of the Kim regime. The legislation was offered as a substitute amendment to North Korea legislation (H.R.757) approved by the House of Representatives earlier this year.

The North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 includes the following key provisions:

Sanctions:

  • The bill requires the president to investigate sanctionable conduct, including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), arms-related materials, luxury goods, human rights abuses, activities undermining cyber security and the provision of industrial inputs such as precious metals or coal for use in a tailored set of activities, including WMD, proliferation activities and prison and labor camps.
  • The president is mandated to sanction any person found to have materially contributed to, engaged in or facilitated the above activities.
  • Penalties for sanctionable activities include the seizure of assets, visa bans and denial of government contracts.
  • The president retains the discretionary authority to sanction those transferring or facilitating the transfer of financial assets and property of the North Korean regime. 
  • The president may waive sanctions, but only on a case-by-case basis.
  • The bill requires the Secretary of Treasury to determine whether North Korea is a primary money laundering concern. If such a determination is made, assets must be blocked and special measures applied against those designated persons. 

Strategies and Policies:

  • The bill requires a strategy to promote improved implementation and enforcement of multilateral sanctions; a strategy to combat North Korean cyber activities; and a strategy to promote and encourage international engagement on North Korean human rights-related issues. There are reporting requirements related to the above strategies as well as a report on political prison camps and a feasibility study on providing communications equipment to the people of North Korea.
  • The State Department is required to expand the scope and frequency of travel warnings for North Korea.

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