U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa, introduced bipartisan legislation the "North Korea Sanctions and Diplomatic Nonrecognition Act of 2013" alongside Congressmen Steve Chabot (R-OH), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Leonard Lance (R-NJ), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Joe Wilson (R-SC), Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Randy Weber (R-TX) and Jeff Duncan (R-SC).
Ros-Lehtinen issued the following statement condemning the latest underground nuclear test by North Korea.
"I strongly condemn the latest nuclear test conducted by North Korea. This deliberate and provocative action by the North Korean regime is yet another display of the regime's hostile intentions and is a reminder that Pyongyang is one step closer toward its goal of nuclear armament. Today, my colleagues and I introduced bipartisan legislation, the "North Korea Sanctions and Diplomatic Nonrecognition Act of 2013', calling on the Administration to re-designate North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and impose strict, meaningful sanctions against the North Korean regime.
Kim Jong-un, like his father and grandfather before him, has repeatedly violated and ignored widespread international calls to cease its nuclear weapons ambitions, instead opting to antagonize U.S. interests, undermine our national security, and threaten our allies in the region. This is a critical moment for our allies in Asia, and the United States must reaffirm its unwavering support for South Korea and Japan as they continue to live under the increasing threat of a nuclear North Korea.
Kim Jong-un has made his priorities clear: to obtain a nuclear weapon and to proliferate nuclear technology with rogue regimes, such as Iran and Syria. I call upon the Administration to take the appropriate action necessary to designate North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism and stand in solidarity with our South Korean and Japanese allies."
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen's bipartisan bill, the "North Korea Sanctions and Diplomatic Nonrecognition Act of 2013", would express the sense of Congress that the Secretary of State should re-designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. In the 112th Congress, Chairman Ros-Lehtinen was also the author of H.R. 2105, the "Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act of 2011", which overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 418-2 on December 14, 2011.