Gardner Commends: New North Korea Sanctions Sanctions Were Mandated by Gardner’s 2016 North Korea Sanctions Bill

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, released the following statement today after the United States Treasury announced sanctions targeting three North Korean state-sponsored malicious cyber groups.

“I welcome the Administration’s fulfillment of these long-overdue sanctions against North Korea-sponsored hacking groups,” said Senator Gardner. “North Korea’s illicit cyber activity was one of the major reasons why I led the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2016. It was the first standalone legislation to impose mandatory U.S. sanctions against anyone who contributes to Pyongyang’s nuclear proliferation, human rights abuses, and malicious cyber actors, such as the entities designated by Treasury today.”

Background

  • On February 10, 2016, the Senate approved the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act and on February 12, 2016, the House of Representatives approved the Senate version of the bill. 
  • On February 18, 2016, President Barack Obama signed Gardner’s North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act into law. This legislation received rare, overwhelming bipartisan support, passing the Senate 96-0 and the House of Representatives by 408-2. The bill imposes mandatory sanctions on individuals who contribute to North Korea’s nuclear program and proliferation activities, cyberattacks, censorship of its citizens, and the regime’s continued human rights abuses, and is a drastic new direction away from the Administration’s discretionary sanctions. 
  • On March 8, 2019, Gardner wrote to Secretary of State Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, asking for a firm Administration response to recent reports that hackers linked with the North Korean regime conducted cyberattacks on multiple U.S. and European targets, including banks utilities, and oil and gas companies. He urged the Administration to fully comply with the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act and designate any persons knowingly engaging in activities to undermine cybersecurity on behalf of the Government of North Korea. 

 

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