Gardner Statement on Release of North Korea’s American Hostages

Click here to download Gardner’s video statement.


Washington, DC – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today released the below statement following President Trump’s announcement that three American hostages have been released from North Korea and are on their way back to the United States with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


“Today’s development is great news for these Americans and their families and I could not be happier that they will soon be back on American soil. Under the previous Administration, I was a vocal opponent of their ‘strategic patience’ strategy and advocated for a maximum pressure doctrine to counter North Korea. This maximum pressure strategy began with my North Korea sanctions legislation and the Trump Administration has carried out this strategy and has brought North Korea to the negotiating table.


“We must continue our maximum pressure campaign on Kim Jong Un until we achieve our ultimate goal — complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. I will continue to work with President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo ahead of the President’s summit with North Korea and will do everything I can to guarantee a successful summit.”


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. Gardner has been in close contact with the President and his national security team regarding North Korea since the beginning of the Trump Administration and has continually urged the President to implement a tough maximum pressure campaign.




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.


354 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20515