Bipartisan support in Congress for North Korea sanctions


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un salutes during a visit to the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces on the occasion of the new year.

House lawmakers have finally found a weapon they’re willing to vote against — but unfortunately for Americans, its 6,000 miles away.

U.S. Representatives, who refuse to act on gun control legislation — or even vote to block potential terrorists on the federal no-fly list from buying a firearm — plan to pass another round of sanctions against North Korea Tuesday.

The push to expand sanctions against Pyongyang has strong bipartisan support even as many suspect North Korea — which claimed to have set off a hydrogen bomb last week — is lying about conducting nuclear testing.


There are even more questions about the effectiveness of sanctions. Many, including existing United Nations economic punishments against the reclusive country, are going unenforced.

APRIL 20, 2010 FILE PHOTOCharles Dharapak/AP

In this April 20, 2010 file photo, Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif. takes part in a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The vote on the House North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act will be held on the same day as President Obama’s final State of the Union address.

U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sponsored the bill to put “targeted economic financial pressure” on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Royce’s committee approved the measure in February 2015 but the bill didn’t move forward until last week when North Korea said it detonated a thermonuclear device with massive destructive power.


People look at a map of the border area between North and South Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion near the border village of Panmunjom, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.Lee Jin-man/AP

People look at a map of the border area between North and South Koreas at the Imjingak Pavilion near the border village of Panmunjom, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016.

It will take weeks to independently verify the claims coming out of Pyongyang, but Republicans immediately went on the attack.

They blamed Obama for being too passive in dealing with North Korea and said he lacked a strategic vision for handling the combative country.

The criticism from GOP lawmakers came the same week Congress held yet another vote — it’s 62nd — to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act that provides health care to the uninsured.

With News Wire Services

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