WASHINGTON, D.C. – The House of Representatives has passed an amendment introduced by Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) to impose the toughest financial sanctions ever directed at the North Korea regime. The Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act, modeled in part of the Iranian nuclear sanctions that were enacted in 2010, passed the House today as part of the NDAA.
Among other things, the amendment would impose secondary sanctions on foreign financial institutions that do business with virtually anyone that trades with North Korea, and would cut off Pyongyang’s ability to earn hard currency through North Korean laborers working abroad.
The amendment contains the same language as Congressman Barr’s bill of the same name, which overwhelmingly passed the House with bipartisan support by a vote of 415-2.
“The bottom line is simple – foreign banks can either do business benefitting North Korea, or business with the United States. They cannot do both,” said Congressman Barr. “With this legislation, Congress would give additional leverage for the Secretary of State and the UN Ambassador to peacefully resolve the North Korea nuclear crisis.”
The legislation is named in honor of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died after being returned to the United States in a coma after more than a year of being held by the North Korean regime.
“While I am glad my amendment was adopted, the partisan bill crafted by House Democrats severely underfunds our nation’s military, rejects key defensive initiatives that are critical to deterring Russian and Chinese aggression, and creates uncertainties for our servicemembers stationed abroad—preventing me from being able to support the underlying bill, which passed the House with zero Republican votes,” said Congressman Barr. “I look forward to advocating for my amendment in Conference with the Senate to produce a bipartisan package that properly supports our military.”
Learn more about Congressman Barr’s amendment here.