U.S. senators seek legislation on far-reaching actions against N. Korea
Published : 2013-02-15 10:50
Updated : 2013-02-15 10:50
A bipartisan group of senior U.S. senators has crafted legislation calling for Washington to take across-the-board measures to stop Pyongyang's development and transfer of weapons of mass destruction and to address its human rights record.
The move is one of a raft of activities by Congress with regard to the communist nation following its underground nuclear experiment earlier this week.
Titled "North Korea Non-proliferation and Accountability Act of 2013," the bill is aimed at preventing nuclear proliferation in North Korea, said Sen. Robert Medendez (D-NJ), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in proposing it.
If passed by the both chambers of Congress, it would lead to unprecedentedly tough steps against North Korea, according to congressional observers.
The bill calls attention to "extensive military cooperation" between North Korea and Iran that dates back to the 1980s.
"The United States Government should seek a new round of United Nations Security Council sanctions, including the public identification of all North Korean and foreign banks, business, and government agencies suspected of violating United Nations Security Council resolutions, and implementing necessary measures to ensure enforcement of such sanctions," it reads.
The measure calls for the U.S. secretary of state to submit a detailed report by May 15 on how to deal with North Korea on the basis of a "full and complete interagency review of current policy and possible alternatives."
The bill says the U.S. should explore "all appropriate measures for enhanced military operations" by its military in the Asia-Pacific region to safeguard the security of the U.S. and its allies from North Korea's military threats.
Original co-sponsors are Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Bob Corker (R-TN), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK), and Marco Rubio (R-FL).
But Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) expressed his clear opposition to the legislation, citing the possibility that it could authorize the use of force against Pyongyang, a source said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced a resolution condemning North Korea for its latest nuclear experiment.
The bill, jointly drafted with Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s ranking member, demands the U.S. government "apply all available sanctions on North Korea and cooperate with U.S. allies to impose additional sanctions, including U.N. sanction."
It also urges China to "act to prevent transshipment of goods that North Korea may use in its nuclear and missile programs."
The resolution is expected to be considered by the House on Friday. (Yonhap News)