Gardner Responds to North Korea’s Statement That It Will Not Denuclearize

Senate Chairman of East Asia Policy calls on Congress to pass the bipartisan LEED Act

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, released the following statement today regarding an announcement from North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations that North Korea has no intentions to denuclearize. The comments come as an end-of-the-year deadline set by dictator Kim Jong Un approaches to see progress in negotiations with the United States. Earlier this week, a North Korean official warned it was up to the U.S. to choose what it would receive as a “Christmas gift” from Pyongyang.

“The maniac in Pyongyang continues to be a threat to global security and U.S. service members around the world,” said Senator Gardner. “Today’s announcement confirms North Korea never had any intention of ending their nuclear ambitions and shows why the U.S. should return to maximum pressure on the Kim regime. I’m calling on Congress to pass the bipartisan LEED Act, which Senator Markey and I introduced to increase diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea. North Korea will remain a global outcast until it reverses course from a long history of human rights abuses, aggression, and defying international law. I will continue to work with my colleagues and the administration toward peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula that is complete, verifiable, and irreversible.”

Gardner introduced the Leverage to Enhance Effective Diplomacy (LEED) Act, comprehensive bipartisan legislation to economically and diplomatically pressure North Korea and its enablers through the imposition of sanctions; to authorize efforts to combat Pyongyang’s widespread human rights and labor trafficking abuses; and to support the administration’s efforts to find a diplomatic solution to achieve the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the North Korea regime. The legislation also calls on North Korea to immediately return the U.S.S. Pueblo, which was illegally seized in international waters in January 1968. 


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 is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.