Amidst Missile Test, Gardner Urges Administration to Prioritize North Korean Threat “This latest missile test is another example of why the US policy toward North Korea should never be ‘strategic patience’, as it was during the Obama Administration.
BigNews.Biz - Feb 17,2017 - Amidst Missile Test, Gardner Urges Administration to Prioritize North Korean Threat
Washington, DC – Last Friday, a day before North Korea launched a ballistic missile in violation of United Nations resolutions, U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) sent a letter to President Trump urging his Administration to take a “determined and resolute U.S. policy toward North Korea,” highlighting Kim Jong Un’s regime’s illicit nuclear and ballistic weapons programs, human rights abuses, and malicious cyber activities.
Upon learning of the latest missile test, Gardner made the following statement:
“This latest missile test is another example of why the US policy toward North Korea should never be ‘strategic patience’, as it was during the Obama Administration. I urge the Trump Administration to immediately pursue a series of tough measures, to include additional sanctions designations and show-of-force military exercises with our allies in the region, to send a message to Kim Jong Un that we remain committed to deterring the North Korean threat. I also believe we must expedite the placement of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD, in South Korea to protect our allies and the tens of thousands of American troops in the region."
Gardner, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, authored the North Korea Sanctions Policy and Enhancement Act. Signed into law by President Obama in February of 2016. The legislation marked the first time Congress imposed stand-alone mandatory sanctions on North Korea.
The letter, sent Friday, reads in full:
Dear Mr. President:
As you set your foreign policy and national defense agenda, I urge you to prioritize efforts to stop North Korea’s illicit nuclear and ballistic weapons programs, human rights abuses, and malicious cyber activities. Pyongyang’s behavior threatens not only our allies in East Asia, but also U.S. national security and the American homeland.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ first overseas trip was to the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan, which showed an unwavering U.S. commitment to our alliances and our seriousness to deter Pyongyang. We commend him on this decision.
I urge you to take the following initial steps to set what we believe is the proper course for a determined and resolute U.S. policy toward North Korea in the Trump Administration.
First, we should fully enforce of existing U.S. and multilateral sanctions regarding North Korea – and as merited, imposition of additional sanctions. The North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act (NKSPEA, P.L. 114-122), which passed by a vote of 98-0 in the Senate, mandates the imposition of U.S. sanctions on entities contributing to North Korean proliferation activities, human rights abuses, and malicious cyber activities. The Congress expects the Administration to fully enforce this important legislation.
In order to exert the most effective economic leverage with Pyongyang, I urge you to employ all diplomatic tools to pressure the People’s Republic of China (PRC) – a nation with which North Korea conducts around 90% of its trade – to fully and unequivocally enforce its North