The House has unanimously approved sanctions against North Korea after the country proclaimed it has successfully conducted the Hydrogen Bomb test.
House Republicans and Democrats overwhelmingly approved harsher sanctions against North Korea after reports emerged that the nation had conducted its latest nuclear test. The House confirmed the sanctions were intended to send a stern warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, reported the Tri-County Sun Times. Lawmakers voted 418-2 Tuesday to approve the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act. The bill proposes to cut off access to hard currency that Pyongyang needs to develop miniaturized versions of nuclear warheads, as well as long range missiles that can be used to deploy them.
America is worried about the claims from Pyongyang that it had successfully carried out its first hydrogen bomb test. The alleged tests were conducted on January 6. The country claims the tests were a success, and it now possess the ability to make the dreaded hydrogen bomb. Though the news triggered condemnation from the worldwide community, many have speculated that North Korea is bluffing. While the world leaders denounced the test as provocative and undermining stability in the region, experts on such tests have dismissed the claims of the H-bomb, saying the blast and its intensity was roughly the same size as that from its previous test, reported Yahoo.
This is the fourth nuclear test conducted by North Korea. The third one was conducted in 2013. Though there have been intense discussions about possible techniques to get the country to stop its development of nuclear weapons, Sejong Institute’s senior research fellow Chung Eun Sook lamented the following.
“It is worrisome there seems nothing much world leaders can do to stop North Korea from conducting a fifth or sixth nuclear test. It becomes a vicious circle.”
South Korea, on its behalf, has urged China, North Korea’s closest ally, to do its part to ensure the country practices restraint.
The approval of sanctions will also make it difficult for Pyongyang to pay its army and police forces, said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“What we are concerned about here is the miniaturization of nuclear warheads that fit onto its most reliable missiles. This threat is unacceptable, and it has to be aggressively challenged.”
Republicans who have long criticized Barack Obama’s foreign policy as weak didn’t lose the opportunity to drive the point home that they are taking swift action to deal with threats to the U.S. while the president procrastinates, reported Fox News. Speaking about the sanctions, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said as follows.
“When America doesn’t stand up to dictators, problems around the world only get worse. Foreign aggressors take American inaction as a sign of weakness, and the result is only more instability and insecurity abroad.”
The sanctions involve attempts at isolating North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his top officials from the assets that they maintain in foreign banks. The leaders have stashed in their overseas accounts, money accrued from illicit activities like counterfeiting U.S. currency, and drug smuggling. North Korea is also accused of regularly counterfeiting American currency to weaken the U.S. dollar. Additionally, numerous reports indicate the company may be openly selling its crude, but operable, missile technology to enterprising parties with nefarious intentions.
The sanctions the House approved unanimously would also penalize any country, business, or individual that was contributing to the North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development. Anybody found importing luxury goods into North Korea, or helping Pyongyang in its money laundering operations, helping in the manufacture and distribution of counterfeit goods, or making and assisting in narcotics trafficking, would be subjected to the same harsh sanctions as that imposed against North Korea.
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