[Statement] Call to Implement Bill Aimed at Cutting Off North Korea’s Finances


The U.S. House of Representatives must pass a proposed bill to implement a “secondary boycott” against North Korea and bring a halt to illegal activities by the Kim family.

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce introduced this new bill after visiting South Korea on February 17 and 18, 2014. Following the introduction of this bill, the international community has shown an increasing interest toward the bill’s passage and implementation.

We can no longer sit and watch the continued development of North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, which, despite concerns expressed by the international community, has recently included a third nuclear test and missile launches. The North Korean regime has failed to resolve food shortages in the country while spending enormous sums of money on nuclear and missile development. Even North Korea’s ally China has expressed concern about the North Korean situation.

Now, peace in Northeast Asia cannot be guaranteed without the halt of North Korea’s development of weapons of mass destruction. The Kim Jong Un regime has refused to abandon nuclear and missile development in order to perpetuate the rule of the Kim family. The Kim regime has legitimized the country’s possession of nuclear weapons by recalling that Libya’s Gaddafi regime collapsed after abandoning its nuclear program.

North Korea now faces the possibility of system collapse due to an extremely poor economic situation. However, the international community shares responsibility for North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and missiles because of the wrong-headed reactions it has long shown toward the issue.

After the 1994 Geneva nuclear negotiations North Korea closed down the Yongbyun reactor, and following Kim Il Sung’s death the country’s public distribution system fell apart. The regime was plunged into an existential crisis and the country’s leaders could not even dream of nuclear weapons. The South Korean government’s irresponsible decision at the time to provide aid to North Korea allowed the country to develop nuclear weapons.

The freezing of North Korea’s account at Banco Delta Asia by the U.S. government in 2005 and the crisis it created was a perfect chance to force the country to abandon its nuclear weapons. However, the international community lifted these sanctions without requiring a halt in the country’s nuclear and missile development. In other words, North Korea’s transgressions were ignored.

As such, the Kim family’s ability to murder the North Korean people and develop nuclear weapons and missiles was partly due to the poor handling of the issue by the international community.

In April last year, U.S. Congress proposed a set of sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear and missile development modelled on the secondary boycott used against Iran.

A “secondary boycott” allows the U.S. government to prohibit transactions made by North Korean businesses and businesses in other countries through U.S. financial institutions. The boycott is powerful because it prohibits the flow of funds related to WMD development. This bill has a high chance of being a powerful tool to end the Kim family’s illegal activities.

Congressman Ed Royce, who proposed the bill, is very knowledgeable on the North Korea issue due to his broad exchanges with high-level defectors. He is certain that the complete shutdown of funding to North Korea is needed to halt illegal activities and bring democracy to the country.

The U.S. House of Representatives must quickly implement this law to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and missiles, bring freedom to the North Korean people, and hasten the unification on the Korean Peninsula.

2014.2.17. North Korean Defector-Run Organizations Supporting the Passage of the North Korean Human Rights Bill

Committee for the Democratization of North Korea (Chairman, Hong Sungyung)
North Korea Intellectual’s Solidary (President, Kim Heunggwang)
North Korea Strategy Center (President, Kang Chol Hwan)
Free the NK Gulag (Secretary-General, An Myung Chul)
North Korea Reform Radio (President, Kim Seungcheul)
Free North Korea Radio (President, Kim Sungmin)