September 07, 2017

Crapo Statement at Hearing on North Korea Sanctions

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, today delivered the following remarks during a full committee hearing entitled: “Evaluating Sanctions Enforcement and Policy Options on North Korea.” 

The text of Chairman Crapo’s remarks, as prepared, is below.

“Today, the Committee will receive testimony from three sanctions experts on how to intelligently and effectively use the various tools of sanctions and their enforcement to reverse a nuclear crisis being inflamed by the regime of Kim Jong Un in North Korea.

“Mr. Adam Szubin, currently a Johns Hopkins scholar, is a former acting Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Crimes and Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, or OFAC, was one of Treasury’s best financial warriors, marshaling the Treasury’s considerable powers to effect real change with rogue nations.

"Mr. Anthony Ruggiero, again, a former government sanctions official from both the Treasury and State Departments, is currently in residence at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 

“And finally, Mr. John Park, having recently concluded a study on the use and effectiveness of North Korean sanctions, is a scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School.

“Welcome, and we look forward to hearing from you today.

“We have heard over the last week, in both words and deeds, and in no uncertain terms, that Kim Jong Un is bringing North Korea, and the world along with him, to what may be the brink of disaster. 

“Kim’s latest claim is that on Sunday, his scientists tested a hydrogen bomb that could potentially be loaded onto an Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, or ICBM, and this on the tail of yet another illicit ballistic missile test, just days earlier. 

“According to the press, experts and intelligence estimates reportedly differ on whether it was or was not a so-called ‘H-Bomb.’

“One thing that is clear is that the test of this bomb revealed a blast six times stronger than the last and according to some reports up to 16 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb.

“As noted by Nikki Haley, our U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, in a speech Monday outlining 24 years of failed attempts to change North Korea’s nuclear behavior, Kim is ‘begging for war,’ and President Trump and his administration can no longer follow a North Korean policy that has marked a quarter century of empty threats.

“So what can be done? Many seem to believe that there are no good options for responding to North Korea, in whatever time is actually left before Kim can assemble a serviceable nuclear-tipped ICBM. 

“But, accepting Kim’s North Korea as armed with nuclear weapons cannot be a serious option right now, either.

“Today’s hearing is about what can be done short of military options, specifically focusing on what tools Congress may support Ambassador Haley’s declared intention that ‘only the strongest sanctions will enable us to resolve this through diplomacy.’

“In this area, I acknowledge the work of Banking Committee Senators Toomey and Van Hollen, who have introduced a very strong sanctions bill in the Senate which was recently referred to the Banking Committee for consideration.

“Senators Gardner and Markey similarly introduced strong sanctions legislation, and I appreciate their work as well.

“Most people know by now that any meaningful de-escalation of Kim’s nuclear threats will require the United States to reassess its relationship with China.

“And, here, I thank Senators Sasse and Donnelly, as the chair and ranking member respectively of the National Security and International Trade and Finance subcommittee, for holding a hearing in May that explored the use of secondary sanctions against Chinese institutions to further constrain North Korea.

“In order to do that, the United States more than ever needs to focus on a coordinated strategy that may turn out to impact many people, in a number of countries, ours included.

“For too long, now, China has sat on the sidelines of this crisis and attended its own interests. 

“It is time for China to join the world in not just condemning Kim’s hostile actions, but using its considerable economic and diplomatic power in concert with the rest of the world to bring about effective change to Kim’s destabilizing nuclear program.”