02.06.16

Gardner Statement on North Korea’s Missile Launch

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today released the below statement after reports that North Korea launched a missile:

“North Korea’s latest act of belligerence is further evidence that we must act to counter the Forgotten Maniac,” said Gardner. “Today’s reported missile launch comes at the heels of North Korea’s fourth nuclear test, and third nuclear test during the Obama Administration. We must act swiftly to reverse the President’s policy of ‘strategic patience,’ and pursue mandatory sanctions aimed at changing North Korea’s pattern of illicit behavior and peacefully disarming the regime.”

As Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, Gardner has advocated for tougher sanctions on the North Korean regime. He introduced legislation, the North Korea Sanctions Policy and Enhancement Act, which was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The bill imposes mandatory sanctions on individuals who contribute to North Korea’s nuclear program and proliferation activities, malicious cyberattacks, censorship of its citizens, and the regime’s continued human rights abuses. This legislation, if enacted and signed into law, would be the first passed by Congress to impose mandatory sanctions on cybercriminals, providing a drastic new direction away from the current discretionary sanctions.

Background:

·       In April, Gardner urged the Obama Administration to act following reports that the regime is expanding its nuclear stockpile.

·       In May, Gardner introduced a resolution urging new sanctions on North Korea in reaction to the regime’s long history of human rights abuses, military threats, and international law violations.

·       In August, Gardner met with South Korean President Park Geun-hye and discussed the threat the regime poses to South Korea and the region.

·       In October, Gardner chaired a Foreign Relations Committee hearing on North Korea and the Obama Administration’s failed policies, and reacted to the Obama Administration’s announcement of limited new sanctions, calling them “not nearly enough.” Later that month, Gardner along with Senators Rubio and Risch introduced the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act.

·       In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Gardner discusses the legislation he introduced and urges action against the “Forgotten Maniac.”

·       After the regime’s nuclear test in early January, Gardner responded by calling for immediate action and was disappointed the President failed to mention North Korea or its most recent test during his final State of the Union address.

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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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