WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific,released the following statement Wednesday after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution on North Korea:
“Today’s action by the United Nations Security Council represents an important step forward in the on-going efforts by the international community to end North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and to place additional pressure on the regime in Pyongyang to change its ways.
“As I urged in the Senate Resolution that I introduced this past September following their 5th nuclear test, this new U.N. resolution strengthens the sanctions placed on North Korea by tightening sectoral sanctions, including, critically, on coal; imposing additional restrictions on their access to the international financial system; targeting the regime’s use of its diplomats for smuggling and raising revenue; restricting illicit transportation networks and expanding cargo inspections; and, providing new tools for sanctions implementation. I was also pleased to see that the Resolution stated the need for the regime to respect and ensure the inherent dignity of their people, which is a significant step in guaranteeing the international community holds North Korea accountable for its atrocious human rights abuses.
“If rigorously enforced, the resolution could have a significant impact on the regime’s ability to continue to raise hard currency to fund its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and, I hope, change Pyongyang’s calculus regarding the need to take concrete steps towards a genuine diplomatic process leading to the denuclearization. The status quo is not working and North Korea is continuing to accelerate its accumulation of nuclear and ballistic missile technology.
“The United States needs to be clear on the risks of a nuclear peninsula and the threat to U.S. national security a nuclear North Korea poses, and pursue a phased strategy that marries stronger alliances with the pressure of additional sanctions, with a diplomatic initiative that can lead to North Korea’s compete and verifiable denuclearization.”