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Corker Statement on North Korean Hydrogen Bomb Test

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding reports of a hydrogen bomb test by North Korea. 

"Reports of a North Korean nuclear weapon test late yesterday are troubling enough in isolation, but if confirmed, this news is especially disturbing when put in context with events of the last several years,” said Corker. “If found to be yet another test, yesterday’s event serves as a sober reminder that ignoring this threat and hoping it will go away does not constitute a policy.

“The past several decades of U.S. policy toward North Korea has been an abject failure, and the United States—together with our allies and others in the region—must take a more assertive role in addressing North Korea’s provocation,” added Corker. “Our committee has held a number of hearings on North Korea, and I remain committed to working with Senators Gardner, Menendez, Cardin and others to bring further pressure to bear on the brutal regime in Pyongyang.”

In October, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held hearings on North Korea’s nuclear program at both the full committee and subcommittee level. At the time, Senator Corker cited the failure of U.S. attempts to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and improve circumstances for the North Korean people and urged the administration to take more action to address the issue. During that hearing, Corker also blamed China for not using its influence over North Korea to alter the Kim regime’s behavior, including Beijing’s refusal to support a United Nations resolution condemning Pyongyang’s deplorable human rights record.

Following October’s full committee hearing, Corker requested a separate briefing from the administration on North Korea’s nuclear program and our contingency plan for containing the proliferation risk. That closed briefing took place in November.

For archived footage and full testimony from the full committee hearing, click here.