War Mongering North Korea Re-Designated as State Sponsor of Terrorism
I released the following statement in response to the re-designation of North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. This legislation has been introduced in the past two Congresses.
President Trump took necessary action, declaring North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism as recommended by my legislation the North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act of 2017. The rogue nation spent 20 years on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, only to be foolishly removed in exchange for promises that it certainly did not keep, including ceasing their perusal of a nuclear weapons program. Since then, North Korea has proliferated nuclear delivery systems, conducted illegal nuclear and ballistic missile tests, murdered dissidents abroad, conducted cyber warfare and made threats to wipe out U.S. cities. There is no doubt that this saber-rattling regime should be returned to the State Sponsor of Terrorism list. I am pleased to see the Administration taking action on this war mongering nation.
Actions Meriting Designation Since 2008:
- On October 22, 2015, the United States Special Representative for North Korea Policy with the Department of State, testified before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade that North Korea’s “conduct poses a growing threat to the United States, our friends in the region, and the global nonproliferation regime” and the Deputy Coordinator for Homeland Security, Screening, and Designations with the U.S. Department of State noted that “weapons transfers that violate nonproliferation or missile control regimes could be a relevant factor for consideration, depending on the circumstances, consistent with the statutory criteria for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism”.
- The Government of North Korea has harbored members of the Japanese Red Army since a 1970 hijacking and continues to harbor the surviving hijackers to this day.
- On July 16, 2010, in the case of Calderon-Cardona v. Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (case number 08–01367), the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico found that the Government of North Korea provided material support to the Japanese Red Army, designated as a foreign terrorist organization between 1997 and 2001, in furtherance of a 1972 terrorist attack at Lod Airport, Israel that killed 26 people, including 17 Americans.
- In the case of Chaim Kaplan v. Hezbollah (case number 09–646), a United States district court found in 2014 that North Korea materially supported terrorist attacks by Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organization, against Israel in 2006.
- In June 2010, Major Kim Myong-ho and Major Dong Myong-gwan of North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau pled guilty in a South Korean court to attempting to assassinate Hwang Jang-yop, a North Korean dissident in exile, on the orders of Lieutenant General Kim Yong-chol, the head of North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau. The court sentenced each defendant to 10 years in prison.
- In 2011, South Korean News outlets alleged that hundreds of North Korean nuclear and missile experts were working in Iran, including at the facility in Natanz. Intelligence provided to the International Atomic Energy Agency appear to corroborate reports of nuclear collaboration, indicating that North Korea transferred “crucial technology” to Iran including mathematical formulas and codes for nuclear warhead design. Iranian opposition groups claim that nuclear expert delegations from North Korea had traveled to Iran three times in 2015 alone, meeting with high-level Iranian officials including those responsible for nuclear warhead design.
- In March 2015, the Government of South Korea concluded that North Korea was responsible for a December 2014 cyber attack against multiple nuclear power plants in South Korea. The South Korean Government stated that the attacks were intended to cause a malfunction at the plants’ reactors, and described the attacks as acts of “cyber-terror targeting our country.”
- On December 19, 2015, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) concluded that North Korea was responsible for a cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and a subsequent threat of violence against theaters that showed the film “The Interview.” The FBI concluded that the “Guardians of Peace,” which sent the threat to Sony Pictures Entertainment, was a unit of North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau, its foreign intelligence service.
- Malaysian authorities have alleged that officials from North Korea’s secret police and Foreign Ministry were involved in the poisoning and killing of the estranged half-brother of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-nam, using the chemical weapon VX nerve agent, a substance banned for use as a weapon by the United Nations Chemical Weapons Convention, on February 13, 2017, in Kuala Lumpur.
- In January 2016, American Student and Citizen Otto Warmbier was kidnapped, tortured and killed by the North Korean government under the accusation of attempted theft of a propaganda poster.