February 23, 2018

Menendez Supports New Sanctions Against North Korea, Calls For Even Stronger Sanctions and Diplomacy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced a new round of sanctions targeting North Korean shipping and trading companies and vessels.

“I welcome today’s action by the administration aimed at disrupting North Korean maritime activities and hope that these actions will increase pressure on North Korea to enter into a credible diplomatic process with the ultimate aim of denuclearization.” 

“I have long called for expanding sanctions, increasing our diplomatic efforts, improving our alliances with South Korea and Japan, and strengthening our military posture. We must use the full arsenal of our tools to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and missile program in order to protect the national security of the United States.”

“However, there is much more the U.S. should do to minimize the obvious threat from a rogue state living in its own false reality.  The Trump Administration has failed to get North Korea to change its behavior so the U.S. must now explore secondary sanctions against Chinese and Russian entities, which continue to enable to regime, as well as cutting off North Korea’s access to fuel and financing.”

“I remain deeply concerned, however, that the Trump Administration simply does not understand how to convert pressure from increased sanctions into a diplomatic solution.  And we cannot allow reckless actions or tweets from President Trump to lead us into a nuclear crisis with North Korea.  While we should have no illusions that there are easy answers when it comes to dealing with a regime like North Korea, our goal must be a diplomatic solution and ultimately, a denuclearized Korean Peninsula.”

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