Bill aims to toughen sanctions against North Korea
A South Korean Marine takes position during the annual joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States in Pohang, south of Seoul, South Korea, Friday, April 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Photo by AP
WASHINGTON — House Republicans and Democrats are proposing to step up sanctions against North Korea by punishing companies, banks and governments that do prohibited business with the rogue nation.
The bill, crafted by leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and introduced on Friday, is modeled on sanctions in force against Iran.
Congressional staffers say the bill is intended to improve enforcement of existing sanctions and expand them.
The measure reflects growing concern over North Korea's nuclear weapon and missile development, and frustration over the failure of U.S. policy to stop it.
The bill was introduced by Reps. Ed Royce, R-Calif., and Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. Its prospects for becoming law are uncertain.
The draft bill does not name any particular entities but potentially could impact companies and banks in China, through which North Korea conducts most of its business.
The draft gives the president authority to sanction governments for illicit dealings with North Korea but allows him to waive the bill's provisions on a case-by-case basis on national security grounds.
The legislation could irk China at a time when the Obama administration seeks more cooperation in pressuring North Korea to end war threats and honor past commitments on denuclearization.
Beijing signed up for the toughest U.N. sanctions yet on North Korea in response to a nuclear test in February.
Royce, though, has called for tougher unilateral steps, as the United States did in 2005 against a Macau-based bank because it held about $25 million in North Korean funds. That measure had a significant impact,but it proved complicated to undo when nuclear negotiations with North Korea finally got back on track.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.