U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement today regarding North Korea's attempted launch of a three-stage, long-range missile. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Despite its apparent failure, the fact that North Korea went ahead with this launch illustrates Pyongyang's hostile intentions, and reminds us that the regime has no interest in behaving as a responsible actor. The United States stands unwaveringly with our South Korean and Japanese allies in the face of this threat.
"This launch, taking place weeks after the Administration secured a "promise' from Pyongyang to suspend missile tests in exchange for food aid, illustrates once again that trying to negotiate with the regime is a fool's errand. Rather than working towards the next doomed agreement with North Korea, or other rogue regimes, the United States must impose stronger penalties and pressure on those who threaten global security with their illegal nuclear, missile, and other unconventional weapons programs.
"Previous belligerent acts by North Korea have been met merely with slaps on the wrist at the United Nations. The U.S. must use our current role as president of the UN Security Council to ensure North Korea is made to pay for its aggressive actions."
NOTE: The Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, April 18, examining the North Korea threat. The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will take place in 2172 Rayburn House Office Building. A live webcast will be available here.
Ros-Lehtinen will update pending North Korea sanctions legislation (H.R. 1321) in light of these developments. Ros-Lehtinen is also the author of the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act (H.R. 2105), which would strengthen the existing Act by expanding both the range of proliferation sanctions and the activities subject to sanctions. Among other provisions, the bill would sanction persons who transfer uranium mining or milling equipment to Iran, North Korea, or Syria by freezing property; deny access to the U.S. banking system to any entity that is selling, not just WMD and missile goods and technology to Iran, North Korea, or Syria, but also conventional military goods or technology; and place restrictions on nuclear cooperation with countries aiding proliferation by Iran, North Korea, or Syria.