U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Arvada, announced Wednesday the U.S. House has approved legislation that will impose more sanctions on North Korea. The legislation, sponsored by Perlmutter and five other Congressman, bans U.S. financial institutions from providing financial services to North Korea.
The legislation, the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act, is named after the University of Virginia student who died last June after returning to the United States after spending a year in captivity in North Korea. The measure passed on a bipartisan vote of 415 -2.
The U.S. Department of Treasury last year reported that North Korea has been using money laundering and “front companies” to supports its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
H.R. 3898 directs the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury to prohibit the Export-Import Bank from dealing with sanctioned North Koreans, and to oppose financial assistance to nations that provide financial services to sanctioned North Korean entities.
In a statement, Perlmutter said he has serious concerns about escalating tensions with North Korea. That country’s recent cyber-attacks, missile launches and nuclear tests “pose a direct threat to our national security, but tensions will not be solved through military threats alone,” said Perlmutter, a reference to tweets and other statements by President Trump that Pyongyang has called “a declaration of war.”
Perlmutter called for strong diplomatic actions and financial sanctions that he said would bring North Korea to the bargaining table with the international community. Perlmutter also was a sponsor of bipartisan legislation earlier this year that requires U.S. banks to prove they are not holding accounts for North Koreans.
In August, Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, called for enforcement of existing sanctions on North Korea, based in part on a 2016 bill he sponsored that was later signed into law by President Obama.
Content originally published by Colorado Politics on October 26, 2017.