Alexander: North Korea Missile Launch “A Genuine Security Threat”

Posted on February 10, 2016

Votes to increase sanctions to help stop expansion of nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs

WASHINGTON, Feb. 10, 2016 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today voted to pass legislation that would punish those who do business with North Korea after North Korea launched a ballistic missile on Feb. 7, and tested an alleged hydrogen bomb on Jan. 6.

“This bill will punish those who do business with North Korea with new sanctions, and ramp up pressure on the regime to stop its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. North Korea is a genuine security threat, and these sanctions will further isolate the regime’s economy and weaken the threat of further acts of aggression against the U.S. and our allies.”

The Gardner-Menendez North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act mandates that the president impose sanctions on anyone who does business with North Korea in support of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs or contributes to North Korea’s efforts to expand its weapons of mass destruction. The bill would also impose sanctions on anyone who enables human rights abuses and censorship in North Korea, sells weapons to North Korea, engages in money laundering or narcotics trafficking, or imports luxury goods into North Korea. Sanctions may also be imposed if a company imports or exports minerals and precious metals that could be used to develop weapons. Finally, the bill imposes more sanctions on North Korea to punish the country for its role in the Sony cyberattack and its continued efforts to conduct cyberattacks against the United States.

Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Gardner-Menendez North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act by a vote of 96 to 0. The legislation unanimously passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 28. The U.S. House of Representatives passed similar legislation on Jan. 12 by a vote of 418-2.

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