Gardner Meets with High Profile North Korean Defector

Washington, D.C.– Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity, today led a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting with Thae Yong-Ho, a high-level North Korean defector who served as North Korea’s Deputy Ambassador to the United Kingdom until he defected to South Korea last year.

“I was glad to meet Thae Yong-Ho today and welcome him to the United States Capitol,” said Gardner. “He provided valuable insight to the committee and we agreed that more economic and diplomatic pressure is necessary against Kim Jong Un to bring about peaceful denuclearization of North Korea. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the Administration in order to achieve this goal.” 

Gardner authored the North Korea Sanctions Policy and Enhancement Act, which was signed into law by President Obama in February of 2016 and marked the first time Congress imposed stand-alone mandatory sanctions on North Korea. Gardner recently introduced comprehensive bipartisan legislation to impose an economic and diplomatic embargo against North Korea and its enablers, and to authorize efforts to combat Pyongyang’s widespread human rights and labor trafficking abuses. He has also sent a letter to Ambassadors of nations maintaining diplomatic ties with North Korea, calling on these nations to cease all official diplomatic and economic relations with North Korea.


Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy and Subcommittee on Energy.

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