U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding reports that North Korea is advancing efforts to produce Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) capable of reaching U.S. soil:
"We have known for years that North Korea has pursued the development of nuclear weapons. New reports that North Korea is producing long-range ballistic missiles which can be mounted on vehicles show that the threat is becoming even more severe.
"And as the North Korea threat grows, so do other threats. North Korea is a legendary proliferator, and you can be certain that the regime will not keep its technological advances to itself, but share with the likes of Iran and Syria.
"We need strong, sweeping sanctions to prevent these rogue regimes from gaining access to destructive technology and making good on their threats against the United States and our allies. I have authored legislation to do just that and I urge my colleagues to support its prompt passage."
NOTE: Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) are the authors of the Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Reform and Modernization Act (H.R. 2105), which would strengthen the existing Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation 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.