The House Committee on Foreign Affairs voted to approve strengthening sanctions against North Korea on Friday.
In light of the hacking attacks against Sony Pictures believed to have been carried out by North Korea, legislation written by Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) strengthens action against the country, and businesses and banks that aid its weapons development programs.
Specifics of H.R. 757, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act, include targeting banks that facilitate proliferation, smuggling and activity that lead to abuses of human rights in North Korea. It also requires enhanced inspection of cargo originating from North Korea for security purposes.
“Last November, with its cyberattack on Sony Pictures, North Korea once again reminded the world that behind its belligerent rhetoric is a country that poses a very real and serious threat to our security," Royce said. "The legislation we passed today is a direct response to North Korea’s continued aggression. At a time when North Korea is closer than ever to miniaturizing a nuclear warhead, this legislation applies tough sanctions against the regime and its enablers. The legislation also shines a light on the gross human rights abuses Kim Jong Un and his top officials inflict on North Koreans.”