A bipartisan group of five top Senators have introduced a legislation which if passed, would ban any entity that does business with North Korea or its enablers, from using the US financial system. It, among other things, would impose US sanctions on all those participating in North Korean labour trafficking abuses. The bill if passed by the Congress and signed into law by the US president, would severely impact Chinese businesses. North Korea, one of the world’s worst human rights abusers, is continuing to expand its nuclear and ballistic missile threats against the American homeland and our allies, said Senator Marco Rubio. “It’s high time for the United States to maximise international economic pressure against Kim Jong-Un’s regime as well as against the many foreign banks and foreign companies that are enabling it, especially in China,” said Rubio, who led in introducing the legislation. With its latest successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, North Korea has demonstrated intent and capability to hit the US homeland – and as President Trump said, we must never allow this to happen,” said Senator Cory Gardner, chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity. The legislation gives those that currently conduct trade with North Korea a clear choice – either do business with this heinous outlaw regime or do business with the world’s leading economic and military power, he said. Asserting that there is no military solution to the threat of a nuclear North Korea, Senator Edward Markey, ranking member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity, said one must utilise direct negotiations with Pyongyang alongside increased economic sanctions pressure from China to bring the Kim regime to the table and ultimately rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons.
“These negotiations could offer the prospect of engaging North Korea in line with international norms by ending horrific human rights abuses, including labour trafficking,” he said.
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Democratic Senator Robert Menendez said the bill is a bipartisan effort that represents additional measures required to get the North Korea policy right. “We seek to impose real consequences for those entities who, even after Kim Jong-Un’s defiance and continued flagrant violations of international law, continue to do business and support his vicious regime,” he said. “North Korea must be held accountable for its dangerous and destabilising actions,” said Senator Robert Portman. “Whether it’s the regime’s illegal nuclear weapons program, its provocative ballistic missile tests, its human rights abuses against its own people, or its outrageous and unacceptable detention of Americans, it is time to impose meaningful costs on the North Korean government,” he said.