November 07, 2017

Van Hollen Speaks on Senate Floor on North Korea Sanctions

Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen spoke on the Senate floor on North Korea Sanctions and his bipartisan sanctions legislation, the BRINK Act. An excerpt of his remarks is available below:

"We have no time to waste. We must sever Kim Jong Un's economic lifeline. That is why Senator Toomey and I have introduced the BRINK Act and why it received such strong support. The BRINK Act targets this illicit financial network by imposing mandatory sanctions on those doing business with North Korea."

"It sends a clear and unequivocal message to foreign banks and foreign firms: You can do business with North Korea or you can do business with the United States, but you cannot do business with both. That is the choice we placed before other countries with respect to Iran, and it helped to generate the pressure to bring Iran to the negotiating table."

"If you trade with North Korea, you will not have any access to the U.S. markets. This, as I indicated, is the choice that we ultimately gave to Iran back in 2010, and the BRINK Act is modeled after the sanctions laws that we applied in the case of Iran that brought them ultimately to the negotiating table. Our goal is to cut off North Korea's remaining access to the international financial system, deprive Kim Jong Un of the resources needed for his regime's survival, and create the leverage necessary for serious negotiations."

"The choice between accepting a nuclear North Korea or launching some kind of preventive war is a false one. I strongly believe that this aggressive secondary sanctions regime, as part of an overall coherent strategy backed by our allies and the threat of force, is our best remaining chance of achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula."

"Right now, we face no more urgent task than achieving a peaceful resolution on the North Korean nuclear crisis. We need clear thinking. We need courage. We need common sense on the choices before us. At stake is not just the security of those in the region but, ultimately, of the United States. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that the pursuit of peace prevails in this effort."