Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) introduced H.R. 3898, the Impeding North Korea’s Access to Finance Act of 2017.
“For more than two decades, foreign aid and half-hearted sanctions have been deployed in vain to thwart the Kim regime’s ambitions, a strategy of ‘strategic patience’ that has proven highly ineffective,” said Congressman Barr. “That is why I have introduced this legislation that would, if enacted, impose the most far-reaching financial sanctions ever aimed at North Korea. In addition to bringing about an economic reckoning for Pyongyang, these sanctions will strengthen the American negotiating position by sending a strong signal to North Korea and its enablers that the status quo is unacceptable.”
H.R. 3898 would punish foreign financial institutions for dealing with virtually anyone facilitating North Korea-related business, an incentive for traders, middlemen, and others to give up activities that ultimately strengthen the Kim regime. In addition, the bill targets foreign banks that deal with North Korean laborers, more than 50,000 of whom have been sent abroad to amass hard currency. Up to 90 percent of these laborers’ wages are confiscated by the North Korean government for this purpose, bringing Pyongyang an estimated $300 million each year.