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Public Statements

Condemning North Korean Nuclear Test

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

I rise in strong support of H. Res. 65, as amended. I would like to thank our chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr. Royce, for his leadership in addressing the threat posed by North Korea. I'm proud to be the lead Democratic cosponsor of this resolution. I believe it's very important for the House to speak with a strong bipartisan voice in condemning North Korea's recent nuclear test.

This test was an unnecessary provocation that raises tensions in northeast Asia and poses a threat to the national security of the United States and our allies in the region. The test also violates numerous U.N. Security Council resolutions, and I urge the Security Council to promptly pass a new resolution with additional sanctions to punish the North Korean regime.

In particular, I call on China and Russia to work constructively with other members of the Security Council to show the world that the world is united in opposing North Korea's unacceptable behavior. I recently traveled to Asia with Chairman Royce, and this is one of the key issues we discussed with senior Chinese leaders. China must do more. They're the ones that can rein in North Korea. They must do so, and they must do so immediately.

The North Korean regime must understand that the development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons will never make it a strong and prosperous nation. Instead of wasting millions of dollars on these weapons of mass destruction, it should focus on feeding its own impoverished people.

I have visited North Korea, the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang, on two occasions, and I can tell you that the North Korean regime would do better to help its own people, give them the things that they deserve, rather than spend its time and money on exploding nuclear devices in violation of what the international community believes. The new young dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, must understand that the United States and our allies will not stand idly by and allow them to continuously violate what the international community thinks is acceptable.

I agree with Chairman Royce that for too long they have played this game. They have talked and talked and gone on and gone on and nothing has really been done, and they continue to violate international law. Unfortunately, Iran is playing the same game, and we cannot allow that to happen either--Iran getting a nuclear weapon.

So given the threat posed by North Korea, the United States must remain vigilant and further strengthen cooperation with our allies of South Korea and Japan. As the chairman said, we were in South Korea just a few days ago and we saw the evidence of provocation, of North Korea torpedoing a ship from South Korea, killing 50-some-odd members of the military of South Korea in an unprovoked attack. This is an outlaw regime, and it really must be handled properly.

I urge my colleagues to support this resolution, and I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, in closing, I just want to say that we can hear that Members on both sides of the aisle are speaking with one voice in unison, and I urge, again, the Congress to speak on a bipartisan basis to say that this is not acceptable and that we condemn in the strongest possible terms what North Korea has done.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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