SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and a bipartisan delegation today completed two days of meetings in South Korea focused on the threats North Korea poses to global security.

Discussions focused on North Korea’s ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons programs, the Kim regime’s ongoing human rights abuses, and the U.S.’s recent designation of North Korea as a primary money laundering concern.  Chairman Royce’s North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 – which passed Congress nearly unanimously in February – called for this important action to cut off the hard currency Kim Jong-un needs to sustain his illicit weapons programs and stay in power.

Meetings with American and South Korean officials included:

  • Defense Minister Han Min-koo
  • National Security Advisor Kim Kwan-Jin
  • Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam
  • Commander, United Nations Command / Combined Forces Command / United States Forces Korea General Vincent Brooks
  • U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert

Speaking with reporters in Seoul yesterday, Chairman Royce said:

“I’ve never seen the [U.S.-South Korea] relationship as strong as it is today, and I think it’s going to get stronger…. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are very committed to the alliance…  

“Given the threat posed by North Korea, now is the time to make it really difficult for Kim Jong-un to pay his generals, make it difficult to keep the production lines open for missiles, and make it difficult for him to acquire parts on the black market… and we must move in unison to take decisive action. 

“[This week’s move to designate North Korea a primary money laundering concern] impacts all financial institutions, anywhere, who now have a choice to make between doing business with North Korea – and being cut off from financial transactions with the United States and the international financial system.”