Gardner Questions Obama Administration Policy on North Korea Sanctions and the South China Sea

Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner’s (R-CO), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relation Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, today questioned the Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken during a hearing entitled, “U.S.—China Relations: Strategic Challenges and Opportunities.” Gardner asked Deputy Secretary Blinken about the Obama Administration’s enforcement of Gardner's North Korea sanctions legislation, as well as its plan to deter China’s provocative actions in the South China Sea and enforce international law.

Click here to watch the exchange.



  • In February of 2016, President Barack Obama signed Gardner’s North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act into law. This legislation received rare, overwhelming bipartisan support, passing the Senate 96-0 and the House of Representatives by 408-2. The bill imposes mandatory sanctions on individuals who contribute to North Korea’s nuclear program and proliferation activities, cyberattacks, censorship of its citizens, and the regime’s continued human rights abuses, and is a drastic new direction away from the Administration’s discretionary sanctions. 
  • Earlier today, Gardner introduced the Asia-Pacific Maritime Security Initiative Act of 2016, which clarifies American policy and commitments in the region, and aligns diplomatic and military resources and activities to support greater maritime domain awareness, institutional architecture, and partner capacity building efforts.   


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 Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy. 

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