02.10.16

Senator David Perdue Calls For More Forceful Response to Confront Nuclear Threat

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, spoke on the Senate floor in favor of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act and highlighted his amendment, which would expose the dangerous nuclear cooperation between North Korea and Iran.  

Click here to view the speech or on the image below.

DP

Transcript:

“I rise today to speak on an amendment I introduced to the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act.

This bill we’re considering today will provide a more robust set of tools to confront the nuclear threat from Pyongyang by expanding and tightening enforcement of sanctions on North Korea.

This bill goes beyond sanctions and calls for a more forceful response to North Korea’s cyber-attacks and human rights abuses. We now have an opportunity to highlight North Korea’s cooperation with Iran on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development.

North Korea’s nuclear cooperation with Iran is widely suspected, and yet the Obama Administration has been reluctant to disclose what it knows to Congress.

Last month, North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear weapons test.

Iranian officials reportedly traveled to North Korea to witness its three previous tests in 2006, 2009, and 2013. Given this trend, I wouldn’t be surprised if Iranians were present at North Korea’s nuclear test last month.

Just before North Korea’s 2013 test, a senior American official was quoted as saying ‘it’s very possible that North Koreans are testing for two countries.’

And yesterday, Director of National Intelligence Jim Clapper provided written testimony to Congress that stated that Pyongyang’s ‘export of ballistic missiles and associated materials to several countries, including Iran and Syria, and its assistance to Syria’s construction of a nuclear reactor…illustrate its willingness to proliferate dangerous technologies.’

We’ve known that Iran and North Korea have been cooperating on ballistic missile technology, and it has been suspected for over a decade that they are also working together on nuclear weapons development, as well as ballistic technology.

In the wake of the nuclear agreement, Iran is starting to see a flow in funds from sanctions relief of potentially over well in excess of $100 billion dollars.

As Iran gets this flow of cash, I’m concerned that we’ll see this illicit cooperation increase, and that Iran will use some of these funds to pay North Korea for further testing and technology.

This amendment, number 3294, would require a semiannual report to Congress, that’s all, and this report would cover North Korea’s cooperation with Iran on nuclear weapon and ballistic missile testing, development, and research.

We’ve been asking for this information, and have not received it in timely fashions.

The administration would also be required to disclose to Congress the identity of individuals who have knowingly engaged in or directed material support for, or exchanged information between governments of Iran and North Korea for their nuclear programs in this semiannual report.

In order for us to tackle this problem head-on, and to take steps to halt this illicit cooperation, we need a full report from the administration. It’s as simple as that.

I’m glad to see this body moving so swiftly to enact punitive sanctions on North Korea for its recent actions, and this amendment will help further strengthen efforts to punish rogue regimes.

I’d like to also applaud the efforts of my colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee—Senator Gardner, Chairman Corker, and Senator Menendez—for their work on getting this bill through committee and to the floor.

Their leadership on this issue has been tremendous, and I look forward to working with them on the floor to see its passage.”