Senator: How to really turn the screws on North Korea
The North Korean regime's dangerous behavior has continued to ramp up -- with its intercontinental ballistic missile test on our nation's Independence Day and its intercontinental missile test last week. These actions must wake up the world.
The time for words is over. Such serious provocations deserves global condemnation and a show of determined resolve from the United States and our allies. We need to take decisive action before the situation on the Korean Peninsula leads to a nuclear war.
First, I'm urging the administration to join me in calling on the global community to impose a complete economic embargo against the heinous regime in Pyongyang. Every nation of conscience should cut off all finance and trade with North Korea, with a few limited humanitarian exceptions, until such time that Pyongyang is willing to meet its international commitments to peacefully denuclearize.
The administration's new sanctions can only be the first step.
The second: If Kim Jong Un intends to continue these missile tests, I expect the United States to react accordingly and to announce new measures against this malevolent regime. Whenever there is a single dollar-denominated transaction that is found to benefit this regime, I expect our Treasury Department to find it, block it, and make sure those who are enabling these transactions can never do business with the United States.
Whenever there is an individual that is aiding and abetting North Korean human rights abuses and labor trafficking, that person should never set foot in the United States and their assets should be blocked. Whenever a North Korean ship is carrying illicit cargo, it should be interdicted, as allowable by international law.
Third, our relationship with China must now hinge on Beijing's full enforcement of a range of measures to stop Pyongyang. China has the most economic leverage to inflict serious damage to the regime's ability to build its illicit nuclear and missile programs and to abuse its own people.
Finally, the United States must continue our show-of-force exercises around North Korea, and the building of joint capabilities with our allies, Republic of Korea and Japan. A strong, trilateral alliance between these three countries can arguably provide the most effective policy tool to deter Pyongyang and to promote lasting peace and security in the region.
Kim Jong Un must know that should economic and diplomatic measures fail, the United States and our allies will have the capability and resolve to counter his aggression with the strongest military the world has ever known.
Peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula must be our ultimate objective and it is our duty to try all diplomatic options to achieve this goal. The Trump administration can show the world that the United States will no longer lead from behind, but instead find a comprehensive solution the global community supports.
By: Senator Cory Gardner
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