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Gardner Calls for Return to Maximum Pressure Policy on North Korea

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, held a hearing today titled “North Korea Policy One Year After Hanoi,” examining next steps to effectively deter Pyongyang’s illicit weapons programs and gross human rights abuses against its people.

NK Hearing

NOTE: Click here or the picture above to download Senator Gardner’s remarks. 

“It should now be abundantly clear to even a casual observer that ‘summit diplomacy’ over the past 18 months has failed to convince Kim Jong Un to abide by international law, but has only lessened the pressure on Pyongyang to denuclearize. Our sanctions policy has been inconsistent, which has left significant enforcement gaps that North Korea and its enablers continue to exploit. The cancellation and downgrading of our military exercises have weakened our defense posture in East Asia, which has only emboldened the madman in Pyongyang,” said Senator Gardner. “It is time to go back to Plan A on North Korea: the successful policy of ‘maximum pressure’ that was adopted early in the Trump Administration, but since abandoned in an earnest effort of diplomatic engagement with Pyongyang.” 

Gardner called on Congress to pass the Gardner-Markey Leverage to Enhance Effective Diplomacy (LEED) Act, comprehensive bipartisan legislation to economically and diplomatically pressure North Korea and its enablers through the imposition of sanctions and other policy measures. The legislation also calls on North Korea to immediately return the USS Pueblo, a US Navy research ship illegally seized in international waters in January 1968 and is currently displayed in Pyongyang as an anti-American propaganda attraction.

Background:

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.

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