Washington, D.C. – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) issued the following statement after introducing bipartisan legislation, H.R. 1644, to strengthen sanctions targeting North Korea’s Kim Jong Un regime:

“North Korea’s nuclear arsenal poses a growing and urgent threat to the United States.  Soon, many believe the Kim Jong Un regime will be able to target all 50 states and our Asian allies with a nuclear warhead. 

“Thankfully, the new administration already has tools at its disposal to help counter this threat.  It can put the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act we passed last year to far greater use than the Obama administration did.  But at the same time, it is clear that additional authorities will better allow the U.S. to crack down on the Kim regime. 

“Last month a U.N. report made clear that North Korea is using ‘increasingly sophisticated’ tactics to evade existing sanctions.  Networks of middlemen and banks are succeeding in ‘moving money, people… arms and material, across borders’ while sanctions enforcement by other nations ‘remains insufficient.’  This legislation will expand U.S. sanctions to target these front companies and enablers that fund the Kim regime’s nuclear program and human rights abuses.”

Following is a brief summary of H.R. 1644, co-sponsored by Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee Chairman Ted Yoho (R-FL) and Ranking Member Brad Sherman (D-CA).  A detailed section-by-section of the legislation is available for download HERE.

The Korea Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, H.R. 1644: 

  • Expands sanctions to deter North Korea’s nuclear weapons programs;
  • Targets those overseas who employ North Korean slave labor, a source of billions of dollars in annual revenue for the regime;
  • Cracks down on North Korean shipping and use of international ports, and;
  • Requires the administration to determine whether North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism.