McCaul Supports Bills to Counter North Korean Aggression
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Michael McCaul (TX-10) – a senior member on the Foreign Affairs Committee – supported the passage of three bipartisan measures out of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that address the urgent threats posed by the regime of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Specifically, these measures enhance North Korea sanctions, condemn its ICBM development, and urge the State Department to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Click here to watch McCaul’s remarks on these bills.
Read the transcript below:
Congressman McCaul: “Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this morning’s markup on these legislative measures, particularly those pertaining to North Korea that I believe are critical to addressing the many foreign policy challenges currently facing the United States. I would like to express my support for the three bills that focus on the current threats emanating from the Korean Peninsula.
For years, the international community has viewed North Korea’s incessant temper tantrums and provocations as little more than belligerent bluster.
However, Pyongyang’s continued ballistic missile tests, including another ballistic missile engine test on Monday (the third in recent weeks), is evidence of the regime’s unrelenting quest to develop the ability to launch a nuclear attack far beyond its own backyard.
Such a quest poses a real and direct threat to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region. I believe disregarding this threat as simply tough talk is extremely dangerous.
Earlier this month, I authored an op-ed on steps the U.S. can take to bolster the security of the homeland and our allies in the region to counter this growing threat.
Such steps included:
1. Partnering with our allies in the region to expand missile defense shields, specifically by building on the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system already deployed in South Korea. This enhances our defenses here at home by increasing the number of ground-based interceptors on the west coast, as well as improves intelligence-gathering measures to get a clearer picture of North Korea’s arsenal.
2. I believe the U.S. should also pursue more aggressive sanctions on North Korea. We should be implementing secondary sanctions to crack down on North Korean front companies, black-market exchanges, and coal exports - all of which allow the radical regime to stay afloat despite legislation signed into law last year imposing stiff sanctions on North Korea’s illicit activities, such as counterfeiting of U.S. currency and narcotics trafficking.
3. The U.S. should place North Korea back on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, which it should have never have left in the first place.
4. Lastly, we must work to counter-message the regime’s propaganda and redouble U.S. efforts to ensure the people of North Korea have access to information from the outside world.
I am pleased to see that this committee is in lockstep with me on these issues, which is evident from the three measures pertaining to North Korea before us today.
Grouped together, these pieces of legislation send a strong signal to the international community and North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un that the U.S. will not sit idly by while its adversaries threaten the peace and security of the region and the U.S. homeland.
Mr. Chairman, I look forward to supporting the passage of these bills out of this committee… I commend you for bringing this forward to send a message that North Korea is a menace that cannot be ignored and must be tempered. Thank you.”
Below are the three bills:
- H.Res.92, introduced by Mr. Wilson, is a resolution condemning North Korea’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and calls for the U.S. to apply additional sanctions.
- H.R. 1644, the Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act, introduced by Chairman Royce, takes it a step further by expanding sanctions to target North Korea’s billion dollar slave labor industry, as well limiting the regime’s access to much-needed international ports used to ship weapons and banned goods.
- H.R. 479, introduced by Mr. Poe, requires the Administration to determine whether North Korea is a state-sponsor of terrorism, which I believe is long overdue.