The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing this week on North Korea, where U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) discussed the urgent need to pass the bipartisan BRINK Act. At the hearing, experts agreed that secondary financial sanctions and fines, such as mandated by the BRINK Act, are necessary to exert maximum pressure on Kim Jong Un and his enablers and would impose penalties against financial institutions that support the North Korean regime. The hearing occurred on the heels of a test of a possible hydrogen bomb by North Korea – underscoring the need to act.
“There is bipartisan agreement – echoed by expert testimony – that the rapidly escalating situation in North Korea demands quick action from Congress,” said Senator Van Hollen. “We must expand and enforce sanctions against Kim Jong Un’s regime – and the BRINK Act would to do just that. This bill will put sharp enforcement teeth behind United Nations sanctions and send a clear message to anyone who has any business dealings with North Korean entities – you can do business with them or you can do business with the United States, but you can't do business with both.”
“North Korea’s nuclear weapons program poses a grave threat to the U.S. and our allies. Yet, we have not imposed the toughest possible sanctions against North Korea,” said Senator Toomey. “In addition, there is ample evidence that North Korea is extensively evading existing sanctions. That is why Senator Van Hollen and I have introduced the BRINK Act, legislation that would expand and enforce tough sanctions against financial institutions and firms that are providing illicit support to Kim Jong Un's regime.”