Wagner, Maloney, & Gallagher Introduce Bill to Expand North Korea Policy and Sanctions
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ann Wagner (R-MO) introduced the bipartisan Leverage to Enhance Effective Diplomacy Act of 2017, along with Representatives Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI). This comprehensive bill would supplement efforts in search of a diplomatic solution to the threat of North Korea’s developing nuclear capabilities, authorize efforts to combat Pyongyang’s widespread human rights and labor trafficking abuses, and apply economic and diplomatic pressure to North Korea and those who enable it. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA).
“With tensions rising, North Korea continues to be a destabilizing force in the region and around the world,” said Congresswoman Wagner. “We must continue to impose additional secondary sanctions and work with our allies in the region to isolate Kim Jong-un’s regime and peacefully denuclearize the Korean peninsula. For far too long, this regime has gotten away with developing nuclear and military capabilities, threatening countries around the world, and committing grave human rights and labor trafficking abuses against its people. It is time for a stronger, more comprehensive North Korea policy,” she added.
“The dangerous rhetoric and actions from North Korea present a grave challenge to the world,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “Strategic diplomacy, in full cooperation with our allies, is the only responsible course of action. I am proud to join Rep. Wagner in introducing this legislation as a companion to the Senate bill sponsored by Sens. Gardner and Markey. This important bill would strengthen our ability to block financial transactions between North Korea and those who continue to conduct prohibited business with that regime. Toughening our ability to enforce sanctions against North Korea is a key step toward starting productive talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, she added.”
“For more than twenty years, American foreign policy has failed to fundamentally change North Korean behavior,” said Congressman Gallagher. “It is long past time that the United States change its approach to impose significant costs on actors that support and enable the Kim regime’s reckless aggression. The LEED Act takes an important step by making crystal clear that those who do business with Pyongyang will not be welcome to do business with America,” he added.
BACKGROUND ON THE LEVERAGE TO ENHANCE EFFECTIVE DIPLOMACY ACT OF 2017:
- Requires the President to block all transactions that are property of the North Korean government, affiliates, or those that conduct significant business activities with North Korea.
- Requires the President to block any entity or financial institution implicated in any significant trade in goods or services with North Korea from the U.S. financial system. Entities include the top 10 companies doing business with North Korea.
- Requires the President to produce a strategy to end North Korean labor trafficking practices around the world.
Human Rights Support
- Reauthorizes the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004 for 5 years, which includes support for broadcasting and human rights/democracy activities.
North Korea Policy Review
- Requires a strategy to address the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea.
- Requires a Congressional briefing no later than 30 days following any U.S. official diplomatic engagement with North Korea.
- Requires a report on U.S. citizens currently detained in North Korea.
- Requires report regarding the use and strategy to end the procurement of certain rocket fuels by North Korea.
North Korea Isolation Strategy
- Requires a global strategy to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea and to produce a list of countries the Secretary of State considers non-cooperative in such isolations efforts.
- Authorizes downgrading U.S. relations with any country that fail to take measures to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea.
- Authorizes reducing or terminating U.S. assistance to any countries that fail to take measures to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea.