Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, by a vote of 412 to 2, a bipartisan resolution condemning North Korea (H. Res. 65) for its Tuesday nuclear test, for flagrant and repeated violations of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions, and for its repeated provocations that threaten international peace and stability.
The resolution, introduced by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), the Committee's Ranking Member, recognizes the grave threat that North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs could pose to the security of the American people, given their increasing ability to reach the United States.
Royce said: "North Korea's latest nuclear test is a stark reminder that Kim Jong Un is determined to develop his nuclear arsenal while depriving North Koreans of their most basic human rights. Decades of fruitless negotiations have been a failure. As North Korea continues to disregard international norms, it is important that this House has spoken out. But we must do more. In the coming weeks, I will introduce legislation that targets North Korea's ability to access hard currency. We can no longer just hope that North Korea will give up its weapons for aid. We must be proactive in addressing this growing threat to our allies and the United States." [View video of Chairman Royce's floor statement HERE.]
Engel said: "The North Korean nuclear test was an unnecessary provocation, raising tensions in northeast Asia and posing a threat to United States national security. China must play an active role in influencing North Korea to cease their dangerous behavior. In the face of this aggression, Congress and the American people, Democrats and Republicans alike, will remain vigilant in punishing the North Korean regime and strengthening cooperation with our allies South Korea and Japan."
In addition to condemning North Korea for Tuesday's test, its multiple violations of Security Council resolutions, and its repeated provocations, the Resolution:
expresses solidarity with the people of North Korea, who suffer extreme oppression;
reaffirms the U.S. commitment to its alliances with Japan and South Korea;
calls on China to pressure its ally North Korea to curtail its nuclear and missile programs and comply with international agreements and resolutions; and
calls on China to act to prevent transshipment of goods that North Korea may use in its nuclear and missile programs;
The Resolution calls on the United States Government to:
apply all available sanctions on North Korea and cooperate with U.S. allies to impose additional sanctions, including UN sanctions;
utilize a range of legal authorities and resources to defend the United States against North Korea; and
support the President's commitment to strengthen U.S. ballistic missile defense system to protect the United States.
Last month, Chairman Royce and Ranking Member Engel visited South Korea, meeting with President Lee Myun-bak of South Korea, and President-Elect Park Guen-hye. They also visited the wreckage of the South Korean naval vessel, Cheonan, where 46 South Korean sailors lost their lives in 2011, victim of a North Korean torpedo.