underway. today, donating up to seven hours ago requiring mandatory sanctions of any entities complicit with north korea's missile development program and other illegal activities carried a vote in the senate is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. eastern. tomorrow, senators are excited to take up trade customs enforcement bill and live to the senate for. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, glorious in strength and marvelous in majesty, we ascribe to you the glory due your name. you have elevated this nation and sustained it through its history. keep us from forgetting that righteousness exalts but sin destroys.
lord, infuse our senators with a spirit of humility. enabling them to refuse to become legends in their own minds. may they ultimate v-8 -- they cultivate esteem for others, seeking opportunities to practice the golden rule -- due unto others as you would have them do unto you. as they work to find common ground, give them your wisdom and peace. we pray in your strong name, amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag.
i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: i was disappointed last night to learn the supreme court temporarily halted the implementation of president obama's coal power plant program. this was an especially stunning move by the supreme court, given that just weeks ago the d.c. circuit court of appeals categorically rejected a halt of the clean power plan and the states do not need to start
implementing the plan until 2022. the shortsighted decision by the court's five conservative justices is an unfortunate setback and it unnecessarily puts into question a major part of our country's effort to address climate change and protect our environment. notwithstanding my amazement, i remain confident that the obama administration's carbon rules are legally sound and will prevail in the courts. in the landmark case massachusetts versus the environmental protection agency, the supreme court itself directed the environmental protection agency to address climate change if carbon pollution was found to be a danger to human health. based on enormous scientific evidence, the e.p.a. did make that finding the agency is required by law to regulate carbon pollution. i can't imagine that the supreme court would take such an unprecedented and drastic step at this time, but the unparalleled nature of the supreme court's decisions show why congress must play a role in
addressing climate change. climate-denying republicans in the house and the senate might applaud this decision, but their refusal to protect americans from the impacts of climate change is the real loss for our country. mr. president, there is no nation on this planet more dedicated to fear and intimidation than north korea. its leader, kim jong un, is a brutal dictator. he will stop at nothing to keep his power intact and his people isolated. that's been proven. to accomplish these objectives, the north korean government relies on threats to japan and other neighbors and of course the united states. recently a number of alarming developments out of north korea has accelerated. these acts of aggression are extremely concerning to the international community, as they should be.
last saturday, north korea defied international warnings and launched a rocket using ballistic missile technology. this was a flagrant violation of multiple united nations security council resolutions, and this came less than a month after north korea detonated a nuclear device, also in clear violation and the law. that brings us to today when the united states director of national security -- i'm sorry, national intelligence, james clapper, confirmed that north korea was -- i'm sorry, that north korea has restarted a plutonium reactor. the director has explained that north korea would be able to recover fuel from its reactor within a matter of weeks or months. the international community quickly condemned these incidents, as it should have. president obama has been a leader in pushing back against sabre rattling from north korea. he's worked to galvanize the world in opposing north korea's provocative and destabilizing behavior. under the president's
leadership, the united states will build a global coalition, including china and russia, to impose sanctions against north korea. there is international consensus that north korea's actions violate international law and threaten our allies and partners in the region. here in the capitol, there is also broad bipartisan agreement that there must be consequences for north korea's provocations. the house of representatives overwhelmingly passed new sanctions legislation. now the senate must act. we need to do it today. two weeks ago, the senate foreign relations committee unanimously approved the sanctions bill that's now before this body. this legislation would require the president to investigate and sanction any person who knowingly imports into north korea certain goods, technology, service, training or advice concerning weapons of mass destruction. it also directs the president to investigate and sanction people when engaged in human rights abuses, money laundering and related activities and cyberterrorism or other cyber
vandalism. in addition, the legislation authorizes $15 million to transmit radio broadcasts to north korea for the next five years. these are commonsense steps congress should take in response to north korea's unwarranted provocation. everyone in the senate agrees that north korea's aggression cannot go unanswered. its action threatens the peace and security of the region and actually the world. i hope my colleagues will join with me in passing this legislation today to send a message to kim jong un that his reckless behavior will not go unanswered. mr. president, i would ask that this statement that i'm going to make now appear at a separate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i so admire the family we have here in the senate. many people work ceaselessly to make sure the senate runs well. in the senate periodical press gallery, a small group of
nonpartisan staffers helps the congressional press office to work together with the communications staff of the senators and their committees. their fingerprints can be found on nearly every part of the senate's business. the periodical press gallery facilitates key parts of the senate business, including press access, print and digital media planning, security protocols and communications across countries of thousands of media platforms. for over 15 years, one man has been at the helm of this exceptionally fine team. his name is ed peskey. after graduating from loyola university in 1990, ed began working in the senate periodical press gallery. during his 26 years of service, ed has always acted with warmth and professionalism. as the news industry transitioned from sole dependence on print traditional mediums to a thriving combination of print and digital media, ed ensured the senate press gallery was not left
behind. he created the first web site for the periodical press gallery way back in 1999 and developed a social media communication program since then. it has been a trailblazer in the news industry and principal leader here in the senate. he has served under 11 sergeants at arms and during countless historic achievements here in the senate, he has seen so much. when asked what they will miss most, ed's co-workers recall his infectious laughter and dedication to team building. last year ed announced that he would retire after more than two decades of service. i congratulate him for his many dedicated years of remarkable service. i wish ed and john, his husband, all the best in the years to come. on behalf of my colleagues, our staff and the entire congressional community, i extend my gratitude to ed for his tireless commitment to the united states senate. mr. president, i was told that the leader would be late.
i don't ordinarily go first, but i was asked to do so. mr. mcconnell: i, too, would like to say a few words about ed who today after 25 years of federal service is retiring as the senate's periodical press gallery director. ed has been a fixture around here for years. you could usually find him right outside the chamber behind the saloon swinging doors of the periodical gallery. when george mitchell was the majority leader, that's where you found him. when bob dole had the job, that's where you found him. it's been true ever since. but you can sometimes find ed other places, too. some mornings, you can spot ed at the gym on a spin cycle. later in the evening, you might see ed queuing for the premier
of a "star wars" sequel, maybe even a prequel. almost any other time, you would likely mind ed buried in a book. fiction is one of his favorite genres. history is the other. he certainly witnessed plenty of it firsthand. he oversaw media planning and execution for six presidential inaugurations, for half a dozen republican conventions and just as many democratic ones. not to mention hundreds of congressional hearings and press conferences. it ed is a baltimore native who came to the periodical press gallery shortly after graduating from loyola. he diligently worked his way through the ranks, and after a decade spent learning the tricks of the trade, assumed his current role back in 2000. the job has brought ed in
contact with thousands of senate staffers and congressional reporters. it necessitated many long hours and plenty of late nights. it presented ample amounts of tense situations as well. but ed never lost his good attitude or his boisterous laugh. just ask his staff. fun loving, thoughtful, tough but fair. that's how people who work closest with ed described him. at 6'2", ed is hard to miss, but i know he will be missed here in the senate when he leaves. he took on a tough job with a great attitude, gained a lot of fans. it's a legacy anyone could be proud of. i think i can speak for my colleagues when i say that we thank ed for his many years of service, we send him our best and we look forward to seeing what he will be able to accomplish in the next chapter of his life.
now, on a different matter, today the senate has an opportunity to pass bipartisan legislation that would add to our nation's ability to hold north korea accountable for its growing aggression. north korea threatens regional stability and our own national security. it threatens allies in the region, especially south korea and japan. and as general clapper stated yesterday, it's a country that will continue to advance its nuclear program. i would urge my colleagues to vote yes to the north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act today so we can work toward keeping our nation and our allies safer. now, on yet another matter, a
few years ago, the obama administration rolled out massive regulatory scheme they dubbed a clean power plan. an odd choice given that it wouldn't have meaningful impact on global emissions or the health of our planet. here's what those massive regulations likely would do, though. ship middle-class jobs overseas, punish the poor, impose more pain on kentucky coal families who just want to put food on the table, all for the sake, one must assume, of letting welloff folks on the left feel better about themselves for -- quote -- doing something. it's pretty clear that the administration's energy regulations threaten a lot of middle-class pain for hardly any substantive environmental gain. there is another huge problem, too. these regulations are in my view likely illegal. yesterday, the supreme court
order was just the latest sign of that. if nothing else, it shows we were right to let governors know their options. we thought governors should know that they could take a wait-and-see approach before locking their states into some massive regulatory scheme. we thought governors should know that the economic jeopardy they would place their states in by moving ahead without a clearer understanding first of what might be legally required. we thought governors should not feel bullied by the heavy hand of this administration. that cautious approach was the most responsible one, in my view. yesterday's decision shows it was a prudent one as well. we'll see what the supreme court ultimately decides, but we're going to keep fighting against these regressive regulations regardless. it's worth remembering how we got here in the first place. president obama tried to push a regressive, anti-middle class
energy tax through a democrat-controlled congress and his own party said "no." mr. president, that was back in 2010. -- when the democrats controlled the senate. they said, "no." he simply went around congress to impose a similarly regressive plan anyway. kentuckians in the eastern part of my state are experiencing a severe depression, a depression that policies like these are only making worse. i've repeatedly invited jean mccarthy to my state to see the devastation first hand, but they've refused to accept. but even if they won't come to us, we've brought constituents to administration hearings in washington to try to make people here listen. i put myself on the appropriations subcommittee on interior so that i could have a stronger influence in the
oversight of the e.p.a. budget. it's given me the opportunity to shed light on the struggles of my home state and question officials like jena mccarthy. it's given me the opportunity to push for riders that would overturn these regulations in their entirety. i've also worked successfully with members of both parties to pass measures through congress that would also overturn these anti-middle class regulations in their entirety. president obama pulled out all the stops to defeat previous attempts to pass riders. he vetoed the bipartisan measures we passed through congress, but he can't stop the supreme court from making the right decision, as we hope it ultimately will. he also can't stop the american people from electing a successor who is ready to support the middle class. here's the bottom line: i think we owe it to the people under attack to represent them
and to stand up on their behalf. the americans that these regulations attack have committed no crime, they've done nothing wrong, they're human beings with families. it's about time we had an administration who treated them that way. until then, we'll keep fighting, and we'll celebrate important progress along the way, just as we did with yesterday's supreme court action. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business until 10:30 a.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. mr. mcconnell: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. corker: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i would like to ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection, morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to the consideration of h.r. 757, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 359,
h.r. 757, an act to -- the enforcement of sanctions against the government of north korea and for other purposes. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be seven hours of debate divided in the usual form. mr. corker: thank you, mr. president. i want to start by thanking the leader for bringing to the floor today the bipartisan north korea sanctions policy enhancement act. this legislation passed unanimously out of the senate foreign relations committee to address a critical national security issue, the nuclear and ballistic missile threat of north korea. we know all too well that the past few decades of north korean policy including both republican and democratic administrations have been an abject failure. while there is no silver bullet solution, it is clear that congress must play a proactive role in providing a more robust policy tools to the executive branch to confront this threat. there has been a lot of attention on north korea in the weeks following north korea's
fourth nuclear test. with senators cory gardner and bob menendez demonstrated leadership on north korea long before recent events. i want to thank them personally, senator gardner leading, chairing the subcommittee that looks after policy relative to north korea, senator menendez coming together with a robust piece of legislation. i want to thank you for your leadership, you're new to the committee and certainly not new to addressing problems that our nation faces, and i want to thank you for that. i would like to thank them for their efforts over many months to focus attention on the threat posed by north korea and to work with senator cardin and myself to develop a bipartisan senate bill. i want to single out senator cardin and his staff for the collaborative and constructive manner in which they worked with our team on this important bipartisan piece of legislation. senators shaheen and markey also made important contributions as
well. senator cardin, i was just boasting about your tremendous efforts here. you arrived late but please know that has occurred. there was a truly all hands on deck bipartisan committee effort to ensure a piece of legislation that the senate, the congress and the congress can be proud of. over the past decade, the senate foreign relations committee has convened every couple of years, at the full committee level to assess the state of u.s. policy towards north korea. there has been surprisingly little vair yition in their overall descriptions of the danger and recommended policy prescriptions. former u.s. officials have all characterized north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile activities as posing serious and unacceptable risks to the u.s. national interests. these same officials also stress the importance of standing with our close regional allies, south korea and japan, in the face of destabilizing north korean provocations. in addition, they all cited the
necessity of cooperating with the international community to deter further north korean provocations and prevent the spread of sensitive technologies to and from north korea. they all noted the importance of enforcing u.s. security council sanctions on p north korea, specifically the need for china to exercise greater influence over pyongyang. now, let me just say this. i am personally very disappointed at the way the u.n. security council is functioning, whether it's iran where we had two ballistic missile tests and yet nothing has been done at the u.n. security council level. most recently, china sent a delegation to meet with north korea right before this last test in order to try to influence them, and we're embarrassed, let me say this, the country of china was embarrassed by the fact that north korea went ahead with this ballistic missile test. and yet in spite of that
embarrassment, in spite of the fact that it is their neighbor on their border that is conducting these provocations, they still have not agreed to u.n. security council resolutions to put in place sanctions against north korea. that is very disappointing. in recent years, u.s. officials have spoken increasingly of the deplorable human rights situation in north korea, including highlighting north korea as a -- as north korea's notorious prison camps. of course, there have been some differences in approaches towards north korea over the years, particularly with respect to the tactics of engaging north korea and the appropriate balance of carrots and sticks. yet, it is apparent that the past several decades of u.s. policy are not working. north korea continues to advance their nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities unchecked. they have orchestrated malicious cyber attacks that threaten our allies as well as our own
national security. meanwhile, the north korean people remain impoverished and subject to brutal treatment at the hands of the regime. i appreciate the complexity of risk imposed by north korea and their limited options. however, there is certainly more that we can do and should be doing in addressing this issue. our bill sets precedent and puts in place strong mandatory sanctions and establishes for the first time a statutory framework for sanctions in response to north korean cyber threats. the president will be required to investigate a wide range of sanctionable conduct, including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms-related materials, luxury goods which affect the elite in that country, human rights abuses, activities undermining cybersecurity and provision of industrial input such as precious metals or coal for
using in a tailored set of activities, including w.m.d., proliferation activities and prison and labor camps. penalties include the seizure of assets, visa bans and denial of government contracts. but i'm also pleased that this bill goes beyond just these sanctions, which, by the way, are very strong. i want to underline the word mandatory. it establishes a more robust policy framework including tools that improve enforcement and shines a brighter spotlight on north korea's abhorrent human rights records such as their forced labor practices. the bill requires a strategy to promote improved implementation and enforcement of multilateral sanctions, a strategy to combat north korean cyber activities and a strategy to promote and encourage international engagement on north korean human rights issues. there are reporting requirements
related to these strategies as well as a report on political prison camps and a feasibility study on providing communications equipment to the people of north korea. after the careful work over many months by a bipartisan coalition in congress, we have a piece of legislation that i believe will begin to allow our country, working with our allies, to begin seizing the initiative and constraining north korea's ability to threaten its neighbors in the world of nuclear weapons while also continuing to focus world attention on the plight of the north korean people. i look forward to hearing the perspectives of my colleagues on the significance of this legislation that i expect will receive wide bipartisan support and eventually become law. with that, i thank you and i yield the floor to my distinguished friend and the ranking member, senator cardin. mr. cardin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland.
mr. cardin: mr. president, first let me start by thanking chairman corker. the senate foreign relations committee has a proud tradition of working on national security foreign policy issues in the best interests of our country and putting partisan differences aside so that we can speak with a strong voice. chairman corker has carried out that tradition and has elevated it to a level that i think has been not only in the best interests of the united states senate but the best interests of our country. that's particularly true in the north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act of 2016. so i thank him for the manner in which he brought different views together. we all had the same objectives, but as you know when you're dealing with 100 members of the united states senate and you're dealing with the 19 members of our committee, we each have different views. and to try to harmonize that so that we can get legislation done in a timely way takes a great
deal of talent and patience, and senator corker has both talent and patience, and i thank him very much for the way that he led our committee to bring a bill to the floor of the united states senate that i think will get overwhelming support and will become law and will advance u.s. national security interests. to senator gardner, my chairman, i have my two chairmen here. senator gardner is the chairman of the east asia and pacific subcommittee with the senate foreign relations committee. he understood the importance of north korea and its nuclear weapon program and its weaponization program, the impact it has globally, that's for sure, but in east asia, it is of particular concern. senator gardner understood that working with our allies in east asia to develop the right u.s. leadership so that we will have an international coalition isolateing north korea by its -- because of its conduct. so i thank senator gardner for
introducing the original bill in the senate and working with senator menendez particularly who introduced it on our side to bring together legislation that is a proper role for congress. and i want to underscore that. this legislation represents what congress needs to do. we are the policymakers of america. we pass the laws. we then have the executive branch which it's critically important to foreign policy, don't get me wrong, but we enable the tools in order to be able to carry out that foreign policy. what this legislation does is congress speaks with a very clear voice that we will not tolerate north korea's proliferation of weaponry and its intimidation of its neighbors and its human rights violations, and that we will use the strongest possible measures to make sure that we contain that type of nefarious conduct.
quite frankly, mr. president, the legislation you have before us is similar to the approach we took with iran and the congressionally mandated sanctions we had in iran that made it clear that we were going to isolate iran until they change course on the nuclear weapons program. what this legislation does is take the product that came over from the house of representatives -- and it was a good bill that came over from the house of representatives -- but we strengthened it. we made it more effective. through the input of the members of the senate foreign relations committee. so it's a strong message, unified and bipartisan, working with the administration to produce a strong policy. now, north korea's foreign policy challenges are ruined by all, ruined by every american president since the start of the korean war. they tested four nuclear weapons tests, they had tested a long-range ballistic missile. it's in defines of -- defiance
of numerous international obligations. u.s. leadership is absolutely critical in standing up to north korea's activities. we must isolate north korea to prevent it from getting international help to further its illegal weapons program. that's the basic point of sanctions. we want to prevent commercial interests anywhere in the world from trying to help north korea get the type of weapons and equipment and resources it needs in order to further its illegal weapons program. the united states must lead an effective diplomacy that provides incentives and disincentives to north korea's conduct. we need to form strong alliances and partnerships in the region. we have to work in close cord nation with our allies. quite frankly, mr. president, our goal is a peaceful and reunified peninsula. we think that's in the best interests of all the korean people. over the last two decades, the north korean regime has moved
steadily forward in their nuclear weapons development program and in production of nuclear material. they have continued to develop this ballistic missile program and they possess hundreds of short and medium-range missiles and they are seeking an icbm to pass capabilities. they have active uranium and plutonium programs that pose a proliferation threat. they have tried in the past to help syria build a nuclear reactor and have been a source of nuclear material and missile technology through rogue states including terrorists. this is not just about one country state. it's about what they are doing in helping other countries that support terrorism and terrorist groups itself. it's critically important that we act. north korea represents a grave and growing threat to the united states, the region and the international community. to respond to north korea's continued belligerence, this legislation we have before us today includes mandatory sanctions -- and the chairman mentioned that. these are mandatory sanctions --
directed against specific entities that violate u.s. law, united nations security council resolutions, including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms-related materials, human rights violations -- and we'll get to that, but this is an important part of this legislation, and activities that undermine cybersecurity. our legislation targets for investigations those to support these activities by providing the regime with inputs such as coal that provides economic support for north korea's illicit activities or the luxury goods that allows the regime to continue to exercise control. we're going after the source of their financing of their illegal weapons program. it's not always the direct equipment that goes into building the weapons. in many cases it is the mineral wealth of the country that they're using in order to finance that. this legislation targets those sectors. the president has mandated to sanction any person who has contributed or engaged in or helped to facilitate these actions.
even isolated regimes like north korea are nonetheless tied to the global financial order in ways that provide the international community with leverage to seek changes in north korea's behavior. this legislation also codifies existing cybersecurity sanctions and responds to north korea's increasing capabilities and provocation in the cyber domain, including the attack on sony. this is an important step in building and enforcing international norms when it comes to cyberspace. so, mr. president, one of the areas that we have strengthened in the house bill is to make it clear that our concerns about north korea goes well beyond their nuclear weapons tests but also to their cyber attack activities. the vast majority of north currency endure a systematic violation of their most basic human rights, and chairman corker talked about this. many of these violations constitute crimes against humanity. a fact that is well-documented by the nuch the united nations n
on inquiry, north korea is one of the worst human rights violators in the world. they're the worst. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that we place in the "congressional record" the report of commission of inquiry on human rights in the democratic people's republic of korea by the united nations human rights council to serve as a testament to those crimes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cardin: these crimes by the north korean regime should shock the conscience of human tivment building on the important work of the u.n. commission of inquiry, the united nations human rights commission and general assembly adopted, by overwhelming margins, resolutions calling for accountability for north koreans human cites abuses. just last year the council took up the grave injustices on their standing agenda for the very first time. these multilateral resolutions need to be backed up by
appropriate action, and that's exactly what we are doing. it is well had pas past time tod north korea responsible for its human rights violations. this response, this legislation imposes sanctions not just for north korea's nuclear programs and continued provocative behavior but for the severe human rights abuses committed in north korea as well. this is new and necessary policy ground for the united states with regards to north korea. though tough sanctions have worked on north korea when applied in the past -- and that is important to point out -- sanctions do work. in 2005, the u.s. designated banca delta b.d.a. as a money lawlaundering concern and banned all u.s. financial institutions from dealing with that bank. it worked. it worked. it had a major impact on north korea. the problem is that was 2005, and we let up.
we didn't keep the pressure up. this legislation will correct that oversight and remedy the reasons why these sanctions are not effective today. this legislation acknowledges that sanctions and diplomacy are the most effective way when implemented into a comprehensive strategy that engages all of our instruments of national policy. the north korea sanctions policy enhancement act of 2016 includes instruments to improve the enforcement of the multilateral sanctions and overall strategy to combat intiesh activities and other efforts to address abuses. the legislation also protects important humanitarian assistance programs. this is another point i really want to underscore. we have no problem with the people of north korea. it's the government. it's the government that is not only threatening its neighbors, iit has damaged, threatened, and killed its own people. this legislation makes it clear
that we will continue to try to get humanitarian assistance to the people of north korea. finally, effectively enforcing sanctions against north korea is not something that the united states can do alone. it requires our allies, our partners, and the rest of the international community to join us in this effort. this legislation seeks to create the policy environment that makes such a multilateral effort at the united nations security council possible. the onus is now on china. china is as much a threat as any country in the world as a result of the north korea's activities. china can make a huge difference in changing north korea's behavior to de-nuclearize the korean peninsula. china has told us that. they need to take action. they shouldn't be blocking u.n. security council action. they should not only be supporting that, they should be using their influence over north korea to bring about a change of
behavior of north korea as it relates to proliferation of weapons. so it is on china. the united states will do what it must do to safeguard our interests and that of our allies, and that we will do. but we hope china, which claims to share our same goals on a de-nuclearization of the korean peninsula, will agree on the meaningful steps necessary so that we can achieve that goal. let me also be clear, the u.s. and republic of korea alliance stands ready to support the korean people against any and all provocations by north korea. the lines made alliancea decisd regarding thaad. we're going to look for new defense systems to help the
republirepublic korea and our fs on the korean peninsula. i also wish to commend the korean leader -- to forge a united and strong international response to northh korea's reckless behavior. we must also continue to look for opportunities to enhance the trilateral cooperation between the united states, japan, and south korea. japan and south korea are our most important allies in the region. as we approach north korea to be most effective, we need it act together. strong, clear-eye you had, forward-looking leadership will be necessary if we hope to pursue eventually the de-nuclearization of the korean peninsula. it calls for close coordination with our regional allies, south korea and japan, particularly in the areas of missile defense and information-sharing. and it calls for u.s. leadership to strengthen the exist being
counter-proliferation regime to ensure that north korea's most dangerous weapons are contained as we work towards their elimination. this legislation does just that. it strengthens u.s. policy and allows us to enshould you are that north korea will pay up apprise for its continued nuclear ambitions while providing the administration with the tool kit it needs to develop and implement a more effective approach to north korea. i urge all my colleagues to join us in supporting this very important legislation. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: i just want to add to the comments that chairman corker, our colleague from tennessee, has made, the chairman of the foreign relations committee, as well as senator cardin. the work that we have done over the past year to put this before the senate today. one of the first meetings we
held in the office, chairman corker, was to speak with my colleagues on the concern that we shared in north korea, the concern that while we have rightfully focused on the middle east and the conflicts arise being in syria, arisen in various places around the country, that we cannot take our eye off of north korea at the same time, and of course senator cardin from maryland, the senator and i have worked together on a variety of committee hearings. the first series of hearings we held were to address the cybersecurity issues, the cyber afraction north contrary, the situation in regards to security on the north korean peninsula. and i think the work that we have mad laid out over the pastr setting ground for this strong sanctions bill today. i rise to speak in support of h.r. 757, the north korea sanctions and policy enforcement act as amend by the amendment that came out on january 28. this legislation is a momentous
achievement and i want to thank the members of the committee and particularly senator menendez as well for work as we came together with a strong bipartisan solution to what is the problem of north korea. i would like to thank as well house foreign affairs committee chairman ed royce, the sponsor of the underlying house legislation, for his years of tireless work and dedication on this issue. having served with chairman royce in the house for a number of years, i know his passion, his dedication, and his commitment to bringing peace to the peninsula. this legislation comes at a critical time. those of you who had a chance to see the news this morning woke up to a story in reuters where yet another top military official in the kim jong-un regime was assassinated by kim jong-un. following a long list of others in his administration that have been killed, assassinated, tortured, including his own uncle, including those who have been killed by antiaircraft gun
p. north korea poses a serious and growing threat to our allies, south korea, japan, and others. and while the threat is growing daily, our policies are failing to determine the forgotten maniac in pyongyang, kim jong-un. this past weekend on february 7, north korea conducted a satellite launch, which is slangs tesessentially atest of e capable of reaching the u.s. mainland. last month on january 6, north korea conducted its fourth nuclear test, which is the third such test during the obama administration. moreover, north korea has claimed that this test was a test of a thermo nuclear device also known as a hydrogen bomb, a vastly more powerful bomb than the atomic devices tested in the past. and regardless of whether the claim that it was a hydrogen bomb or not is true, this test
represents a significant advancement in north korea's nuclear weapon capability. north korea has violated a series of united nations security council resolutions, including resolutions 1718, 1874, 2087, and 2094. all while the regime stockpile of nuclear weapons continues to grow exponentially. most recently nuclear experts have reported that north korea may currently have as many as 20 nuclear warheads with the potential for over 100 in just the next few years. yesterday james clapper, the director of national intelligence, testified before the senate armed services committee that north korea has restarted its plutonium reactor at pyongyang and could "begin to recover plutonium from the reactor's spent fuel within a matter of weeks to months."
the regime's ballistic missile capabilities are rapidly advancing. d.n.i. clapper stated that north korea has also expand the size and capabilities of its forces from close-range ballistic missiles to icbm ballistic missiles and continues to conduct missile test launches. pyongyang is also committed to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the united states. admiral bill gortney, the head of northcom, based in my home state of colorado, has publicly stated that north korea may have already developed the ability to miniaturize a nuclear warhead, to mount it onto their own intercontinental ballistic missile, something called the kn-08, and shoot it at the homeland. that's not the worse of a chairman or subcommittee chairman. that's the worse of our commander of northcom who believes they may have developed the ability to shoot it at the homeland. north korea has demonstrated
time and time again that it is ann -- that it is an aggressive, ruthless regime that is not afraid to kill innocent people. on march 26, 2010, north korean missiles sank a south korean ship killing the crew. pyongyang is also quickly developing its cyber capabilities as another tool of its intimidation. as demonstrated by the attack on the south korean financial institutions and communications systems or the sony pictures attack in november 2014, according to a november 2015 report by the center for strategic and international studies, north korea is emerging as a significant actor in cyberspace with both its military and cyber clandestine organizations that are gaining the capability to conduct cyber operations. according to the heritage
foundation, contrary to perceptions of north korea as a technically backward nation, the regime has a very robust and active cyber warfare capability. the reconnaissance general agency oversees 3,000 cyber warriors dedicated to attacking pyongyang's enemies. a south korean cyber expert assesses that north korea's electronic war capabilities were surpassed only by the united states and russia. we should also never forget that this regime remains one of the world's foremost abusers of human rights. the north korean regime maintains a vast network of political prison camps where as many as 200,000 men, women and children are confined to atrocious living conditions and are tortured, maimed and killed. on february 7 of 2014, the united nations human rights commission of inquiry released a ground-breaking report detailing north korea's horrendous record
on human rights. the commission found that north korea's actions constituted a crime against humanity. what then has been this administration's policy to counter the north korean threat? our policy is called something something -- i quote -- of strategic patience. which started in 2009 under then-secretary of state hillary clinton. the main idea behind strategic patience, it seems, is to patiently wait until kim jong-un peacefully surrenders. the latest developments show we are now reaping the rewards of this ill-conceived policy and it can no longer be allowed to remain in effect. the simple fact is that strategic patience has been a strategic failure. all that our so-called patience has done is to allow the north korean regime to continue to test nuclear weapons, to expand its testing of intercontinental ballistic missiles, to grow its military power, to develop cyber
warfare technologies while systematically continuing to torture its own people. we have neither militarily deterred this regime nor effectively used our punitive tools. our sanctions policies towards north korea has been weak. as noted in that same csis report, the sanctions against north korea pale in comparison to the level of sanctions against iran. the number of individuals and entities sanctioned by the u.s. and the united nations are 843 and 121 by -- 843 sanctions by the united states, 121 sanctions by the united nations for iran, but only 100 u.s. sanctions and 31 u.n. sanctions for north korea. when we do impose sanctions, sanctions that we impose against north korea is often repetitive or ineffectual. again, quoting from the heritage foundation reports, in response
to the north korean cyber attack on sony, president barack obama issued executive order 13687 in which, although expansive in its legal breadth, was only weakly implemented. the administration targeted 13 north korean entities, three organizations which were already on the u.s. sanctions list and ten individuals not involved in cyber warfare. that was our response to north korea. and to date, we have not imposed specific human rights sanctions on a single north korean individual. 200,000 men, women and children in political gulags in north korea and the united states has not imposed a specific human rights sanction on a single north korean leader. it's a disgrace, given the gravity of the abuses being perpetrated by this regime. these policy failures are why a year ago i began working on legislation before us today that would reverse course and apply the pressure necessary to stop the forgotten maniac in
pyongyang. last august, i had an opportunity to visit south korea and to meet with south korean president, and we talked about the situation on the peninsula and we agreed that the status quo with north korea is no longer sustainable. to witness the proximity of the threat for screen allies, i -- south korean allies, i visited the demilitarized zone, the d.m.z. only days after i departed, north koreans fired artillery across the border, showing the danger south koreans live under every day and the danger of this escalation of this conflict. i also traveled to china and met with the foreign minister as well as other high-ranking officials to discuss north korea. from my conversations, it became evident that although they are growing exasperated with the north korean regime, beijing has done little with the intention of undertaking meaningful action to stop kim jong-un. so last october, i introduced
senate bill 2144, the north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act, and i want to thank 17 of my colleagues in this senate for cosponsoring this legislation. the substitute before us today represents a slightly modified version of senate bill 2144. in particular, this legislation mandates, not simply authorizes, that the president impose sanctions against persons that materially contribute to north korea's nuclear and ballistic missile development. but import luxury goods into north korea, mandatory sanctions that will enable its censor -- perpetrators that enable sense orship and human rights abuses in north korea, engage in money laundering and manufacture of counterfeit goods and narcotics trafficking, engage in activities undermining cybersecurity, have sold, supplied or transferred to or from north korea precious metals or raw metals including aluminum, steel and coal for the benefit of north korea's regime and its illicit activities. these sanctions are tough, and
we know that a significant portion of the currency, the foreign currency that north korea receives is portrayed in its precious metals, raw materials, aluminum, steel and coal. we know that about 90% of north korea's economy is through its relationship with china, and as senator cardin talked about previously, he mentioned that nobody faces a greater threat than south korea, its neighbors, japan and even china who border a regime killing its own people, testing ballistic missiles, violation of china's determinations, the u.s. determinations and certainly the united nations determinations. i would note that the mandatory sanctions on north cry's cyber activities and the mandatory sanctions on the minerals are unique to the senate legislation. this bill also codifies the executive orders the president issued last year. 13687 and 13694 regarding cybersecurity as they apply to
north korea which were enacted last year in the wake of the sony pictures hack and other cyber incidents. this is also a unique feature of the senate bill. lastly, if enacted and signed into law, the mandatory sanctions on cyber violators will break new ground for congress, something that we can take as a model and apply to other nations who perpetrate intaib attacks against the united states. we need to look for every way to deprive pyongyang of income to build its weapons programs, strengthen its cyber abilities and abuse its own people. we have to send a strong message to china. north korea's diplomatic protector and largest trading partner, that the united states will use every economic tool at its disposal to stop pyongyang. finally, i would like to quote "the washington post" editorial board from this past monday, february 8. "president obama's policies since 2009 strategic patience has failed.
the policy has mostly consisted of ignoring north korea while mildly cajoling china to pressure the regime. the editorial concludes both china and north korea must see that they will pay a mounting price for what the united states should be mr. kim's intolerable steps toward a nuclear arsenal. strategic patience is no longer a viable option." i ask unanimous consent to submit "the washington post" editorial into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. gardner: this legislation begins the process of reversing course from these failed policies toward building the strong policies that we need to stop the forgotten maniac. i urge my colleagues to support this bill, this amendment which passed with unanimous support out of the foreign relations committee. we can make a difference today. we can strengthen our partnership with south korea, japan, the united states. we can stop the torture, of the people of north korea, and we could lift the threat of a
nuclearized north korea that threatens to harm not just its neighbors, not just our allies, but the people of this country and our homeland. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. corker: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i know we have a number of speakers who are interested in this legislation and will be coming to the floor. i think actually most all of the time is taken between now and vote time. i would encourage other members that want to speak to it, though, to maybe try to fill in the gaps. i want to again thank senator gardner and senator menendez for their efforts on the front end of this. i think this is a very meaningful piece of legislation. i was with the presiding officer yesterday at a lunch meeting. i think he's okay with me sharing the fact that the senate is playing a role and really projecting our strength, and we
continue to do so, both through the armed services committee that he serves on but also through the foreign relations committee. i think this is a very, very strong piece of legislation. a lot of times it's difficult for us to make a difference. let's face it, the commander in chief has such powers and such staff at their disposal, although this is one of those pieces of legislation where i'm certain we are going to make a difference. will it end north korea's activities. it's going to take collective efforts to make that happen, but i think that this begins the process of moving that along. i have to tell you i am so disappointed in the way the u.n. security council is behaving. i know that -- and again, i don't want to rehash old discussions, but i know when we looked at the snapback
provisions that were a part of the iran nuclear agreement, when you know that we're dealing with partners like china that wants to buy oil from iran and russia that wants to sell them arms, and i hate to say it but our european friends are just dying to do business in the ways that they are, those snapback provisions mean nothing. they mean nothing. and the fact that iran had two ballistic tests that have taken place, violating the u.n. security council resolutions, and nothing has happened, nothing, nothing has happened because russia and china have blocked those means that in many ways for us to continue to project to cause change to occur, this body itself has got to be even more proactive. and i think what you have done here in seeing this a long time ago, visiting the d.m.z. as i have and seeing the 20,500 troops that we have there.
i know senator sullivan has done the same thing, and realizing the constant danger there that south korea faces, that japan faces and others, and to know in this particular instance with north korea being right on the border of china, with us knowing that china is the entity that can make the most difference, and yet china again, after being embarrassed over embarrassed over occurred, north korea paying no attention whatsoever to their -- to their reachout to try to keep this last test in particular from occurring, and yet being unwilling, unwilling. and so when we have partners -- quote -- on the u.n. security council that are unwilling to take steps, it means even more so that this body, part of the greatest nation on earth, this body has got to be proactive. so i commend you, i commend the
members of this body that i think will -- are certainly interested, and i think we'll pass this piece of legislation overwhelmingly. i thank again senator mcconnell and senator reed for allowing this to -- senator reid for allowing this to come up in this manner. i commend chairman royce and ranking member rangel. they send the -- sent the bill over. it was a strong piece of legislation that the senate by passage later today will strengthen. this is a collaborative effort. i hate to even use words like that. i know people hear it back home, but it is, it is a collaborative effort by two bodies of congress and two committees and ultimately by the end of the day i think two bodies fully passing this. it's going to become law. and this is going to begin to make a difference in the way north korea is behaving. it is abhorrent what is happening there. one of the greatest humanitarian
crises continues because of the way people are treated, and this bill addresses that also. so thank you for your comments on the floor, thank you more importantly for your efforts in bringing -- helping bring this piece of legislation to the floor with your leadership on the committee in designing this. i look forward to us having a very successful day here in the senate. mr. gardner: would the senator yield? mr. corker: yes, sir. mr. gardner: the gentleman from tennessee has talked a little bit about the united nations disappointment with the united nations. i wanted to go back over some of the points we talked about earlier today. senator cardin, my colleague from maryland, mentioned the fact that the united nations has very similar -- pro-united states very similar approaches to our sanctions that were brought around to the table in the first place, the negotiation table. the sanctions that we levied against iran brought them to the negotiating table, and the fact that the united states has levied almost eight times more
sanctions against iran than we have a regime that does possess a nuclear weapon. i think we have more work to do in the united states. this bill is a great step, but also the united nations and your expression of disappointment with the united nations i think is well stated. mr. corker: i think it's good that you bring up the fact that when we began putting these sanctions in place, there was a lot of pushback because in essence for these things to work properly or have the biggest -- make the biggest difference in outcomes is you didn't have an international effort that takes place. when we began the iran sanctions process, it was unilateral, and while we stressed on the front end -- i know an amendment pass th-- passed in the committee to really port neforts to make it multilateral, over tomb it did and because of that, the world had joininged us and we were
able to force a behavior change. i would have liked to have a better outcome when they got to the table. i think most people in this body would have. but this bill, to point out, does seek and does push the administration not only to implement these by mandatory statements but also encourages them again to work with others. so, you know, i had those same conversations in china that you had years ago, and the chinese, with such emphasis on stability, with such emphasis on stability -- and, i understand, it's right on their border, which to me should make these provocations even more infuriating and more important relative to the security of their own country. but it just seems that they, too, have exercised the patience that you talked about earlier
that our country has exercised. and i really do believe that passage today of this and ultimate signature by the president is -- has the potential to unleash the same chain of events that occurred relative to iran, hopefully with a better outcome. and, again, i want to thank you for your efforts. i ask unanimous consent that at any time -- that any time spent in a quorum call before the vote in relation to h.r. 757 be charged equally against both sides. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: and, looking around the floor, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hirono: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes, we are. ms. hirono: i ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. hirono: mr. president, i rise to speak in strong support of the north korea sanctions enforcement act. this legislation serves as a critical component of the u.s. response to the north korean regime's dangerous and destabilizing acts. these acts are just the latest in a series of flagrant violations of the u.n. security council resolutions against north korea's use of ballistic missile and nuclear technology.
north korea's unpredictable behavior, combined with their commitment to advancing their nuclear and missile capability, present a serious threat to our country and our allies. my support of this bill is grounded in my belief that the united states must stand with our allies and lead an international response that condemns north korea's actions and reassure our allies, especially japan and south korea. strengthening and expanding sanctions demonstrate that north korea's behavior is unacceptable and that there will be consequences. the gardner-menendez substitute amendment makes mandatory important cybersecurity sanctions on north korea that were enacted as executive orders in the wake of the sony pictures hacking incident. the amendment also requires the president to target pyongyang's trade and key and industrial
commode dis -- in key industrial commodities that are used to fund its weapons program. the bill requires a strategy to promote improved implementation and enforcement of multilateral sanctions, a strategy to combat north korea's cyber activities and a strategy to promote and encourage international engag engagement on north korea human rights-related issues including forced labor and repatriation. while passing this is a critical part of the u.s. response, we also must work with our allies, as imansed before, to stand -- as i mentioned before, to stand as a united international community. today our allies -- japan and south korea -- took additional measures against pyongyang. japan declared all north korean ships, including those for humanitarian purposes, would be banned from entering or coming to japanese ports. third country ships would also be banged from entering.
south koreaatennounceed it would pull out of a joint industrial complex that it ran with north korea. i agree with secretary kerry that the u.n. security council must act swiftly to imloas impoe penalties. china needs to join the international community in supporting u.n. sanctions against pyongyang and should use its leverage as north korea's largest trading partner to expand u.n. sanctions. this is an opportunity for the u.s. and china to work together towards a common goal: a de-nuclearizes korean pngz. while our country is engaged in the campaign to destroy isil, north korea's serious provocations demonstrate that we cannot take our attention away from the asia-pacific region. the united states has long-standing strategic interests and commitments to the security of the asia-pacific area. it is a priority to maintain
civility in the region where the u.s. has five treaty allies and many security partnerships. we must ensure that our solid commitment to defend south korea and japan remains firm. while passing the sanctions bill is important to demonstrate our resolve and leadership, clearly this is not enough in the face of north korea's provocations. we need to cooperate with our allies on missile defense. as the north continues its provocative missile launches, our alliance with south korea means that we must enhance our defenses against these threats. pyongyang'pyongyang's missile cs threaten not only our allies and service members, but also the u.s. territory of guam, my home state of hawaii, alaska, and much of the west coast. south korea's decision yesterday to begin formal talks with the
united states to deploy thaad missile defense system is a major step toward this kind of missile defense cooperation. thaad can target short hrvetio, immediate, missiles in flight. again, stability in the area with key allies, largest and fastest-growing economies, and provocative actors like north korea and china, is critical to our national defense. and national security. we must continue our commitment to an rebalance with military, economic, and diplomatic attention and resource priorities to this part of the world. since my election to the senate, i have made it a priority to visit this region every year, most recently this past summer i visited japan and guam. i traveled to south korea in 2013 and know that our allies are counting on us to keep our focus on the asia-pacific and
work with them to maintain stability and prosperity in this part of the world. i urge my colleagues to send a strong message to north korea and our allies by not only supporting the north korean sanctions enforcement act but also by supporting the rebalance to the asia-pacific. i yield the floor. mr. president? the presiding officer: the snr from hawaii. ms. hirono: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. coons: i ask that proceedings under the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coons: mr. president, many of my colleagues, both republicans and democrats, have taken to the floor today in support of the north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act. it is a bill that i, too, am pleased to support. this bill was developed in the senate foreign relations committee through the same spirit of collaboration and collegiality in america's best interests that we've sandinistan this committee time -- that we've seen in this committee time and time again. senators gardner and menendez deserve real praise for drafting this bill and i thank and commend chairman corker and ranking member cardin for leading an open-amendment process within the committee that strengthened the bill with truly constructive changes. among them, an amendment from senator markey to crack down on transfers of conventional weapons to and from north korea
and another from senator shaheen which makes sure these new sanctions won't impede our ability to recover the remains of any lost american service member in north korea. i want to thank senators corker and cardin, not only for advancing this bill but just as importantly for leading the foreign relations committee in a bipartisan spirit that reflects the best of the senate in an uncertain world. this is a strong bill and i am confident it will enhance sanction against north korea in response to the nuclear test last month and its dangerous nuclear missile launch last weekend. it is a clear, direct response that sends an unmistakable signal to north korea and the world that we intend to continue to be actively engaged. but frankly, the floor debate this week at some moments has not always reflected that same bipartisan spirit and the same spirit in which the house overwhelmingly passed a similar bill last month. somehow the debate has at some times shifted from questions of
how best to punish north korea for its illegal actions and how we can pull together in that effort to questions about president obama's broader policy goals and motives. suggestions that the president somehow enabled north korea to engage in this provocative behavior by pursuing a separate nuclear agreement with iran, i think only distract from our shared goal that serves as the foundation and bipartisan purpose of this legislation. so i urge a more constructive course. mr. president, we should apply this same bipartisan spirit in which we developed the north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act towards passage of the iran policy oversight act which was led by ranking member cardin and which would ensure that congress can exercise effective oversight of the nuclear agreement with iran. just as members of the foreign relations committee worked together to develop a sanctions bill on north korea, republicans and democrats in this body should come together to enforce
the terms of the nuclear deal with iran and to push back on iran's support for terrorism in the middle east, its ongoing human rights violations and its illegal ballistic missile tests. the iran policy oversight act offers a credible way to accomplish these goals. when it comes to the recent nuclear agreement with iran, also known as the joint comprehensive plan of action or the jcpoa, too often we find ourselves distracted from the question of whether that deal made iran less able to pursue development of a nuclear weapon. we're seeing the same tendency play out today. as some of my colleagues have promoted a false comparison between the jcpoa and the 1994 agreed framework which the united states negotiated with north korea with the goal of stopping north korea from developing a nuclear weapon. these comparisons make the false implication that just because the 1994 framework failed to
keep north korea from pursuing a nuclear weapons program that the jcpoa is destined to similarly fail with regard to iran. i'm going to take a moment and explain why this comparison is inaccurate at best and misleading at worst. first, the 1994 framework with north korea was just that, a brief framework or an outline. its text just three pages long. the nuclear agreement with iran is nearly 160 pages, thorough, detailed comprehensive, outlining the international's community specifications, specifying deadlines and deliverables and laying out in clear terms the consequences for violation of the deal. the second difference between the two is as fundamental. the 1994 framework did not seek to block north korea's plutonium pathway. not only does the jcpoa require iran them to eliminate nuclear grade plutonium -- the
importance of including this provision in the jcpoa was made even clearer yesterday when james clapper, the united states director of national intelligence, confirmed that north korea has restarted its plutonium production reactor and may begin recovering spent fuel in a matter of weeks if iran attempted to do the same the international community would know and be able to take action long before iran could achieve that objective. third, the jcpoa allows the iaea or the international atomic energy agency full access to iran's nuclear cycle from mines to mills to centrifuge workships to enrichment facilities. never before has a nuclear agreement given international inspectors such comprehensive access to monitor. when i visited the iaea headquarters in vienna, austria, the head of the agency said the access they've gotten to iran's entire range of nuclear activities goes well beyond the
access it had to north korea in the 1990's. a fourth difference is just as crucial. the jcpoa requires iran to abide by the so-called additional protocol in other additional measures which guarantee the iaea can seek access to suspicious, undeclared locations. this additional protocol which is a key deterrent to cheating didn't even exist in 1994. the nuclear deal with iran contains defined time lines for access to suspect potential nuclear sites and a dispute resolution mechanism that will resolve differences between iran and the international community in favor of access and inspection. the 1994 agreed framework didn't include these protections. fifth, the jcpoa is an agreement between iran and the international community while the united states maintains ability to snap back unilateral sanctions to punish iran, the strength of the deal comes not just the united states support but from buy-in from our p-5
plus 1 partners. and we have to continue to work together tirelessly on a bipartisan basis to ensure that those partners remain partners in enforcement of the deal. six, the jcpoa puts incentives in the right place halting sanctions relief for iran until after the international community verified it had complied with the core terms of the deal. the 1994 framework allowed north korea compensation and sanctions relief simply for signing up before the agreement was even implemented, clearly a fatal flaw. last and in some ways most importantly, logical both iran and north korea are dangerous rad ral regimes -- radical regimes and they are both ostensibly led by so-called supreme leaders they exist in different regions and have different goals and exist in different contexts. i do think that iran rightly or wrongly seeks and needs integration with the world economy and north korea continues to be an isolated rogue regime from the rest of the world. so, mr. president, the seven
differences i've just briefly outlined show the fundamental differences between the framework with north korea which failed and the jcpoa with iran which i hope and pray will still prove to be successful. we must focus on enforcing rigorously the terms of that jcpoa and pushing back on iran's bad behavior in a bipartisan fashion. in the same spirit in which my colleagues on the foreign relations committee developed this vital and important north korea bill. one way we could do so is to pass the iran policy oversight act, a bill led and developed by senator cardin and members of the foreign relations committee who were supporters and opponents of the jcpoa. the iran policy oversight act would clarify ambiguous provisions, establish in statute our commitment to enforcing the deal, engage in efforts to counter iranian activity in the middle east and provide increased support for allies in the region especially israel.
i commend senator cardin for his leadership in drafting a bill strong enough to earn the cosponsorship from supporters and opponents of that nuclear deal. mr. president, even in a dysfunctional congress, today's debate and passage of this north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act shows that we can come together to make our country safer in the face of a dangerous world. congress did the same last may when we came together to enact the iran nuclear agreement review act which gave congress a clear and focused opportunity to review the terms of the jcpoa before it was finalized. we can and must do similar things again. we should work together, republicans and democrats in the spirit of this north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act, and the iran nuclear agreement review act to introduce, debate and pass legislation to show iran and our allies that the united states is serious about continuing to hold them accountable for their bad behavior and to continue to demonstrate our leadership in the pacific region and our determination to contain north
mr. perdue: mr. president, i rise to speak on an amendment i introduced. this bill we're considering today will provide a more robust set of tools to confronts the nuclear threat from pyongyang by expanding and tightening enforcement of sanctions on north korea. this bill goes beyond sanctions. it calls for a more forceful response to north korea's cyber attacks and human rights abuses. we now have an opportunity to highlight north korea's cooperation with iran on nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development. north korea's nuclear cooperation with iran is widely suspected and yet the obama administration has been reluctant to disclose what it knows to congress. last month north korea conducted its fourth nuclear weapons test. iranian officials reportedly traveled to north korea to witness its previous three nuclear tests, in 2006, 2009 and 2013. given this trend, mr. president, i would not be surprised at all
if iranians were actually present in north korea's nuclear test just last month. just before north korea's 2013 test, a senior american official was quoted as saying -- quote -- "it's very possible that the north koreans are testing for two countries." end quote. and yesterday director of national intelligence, jim clapper, provided written testimony to congress that stated that pyongyang's -- quote -- "export of ballistic missiles and associated materials to several countries, including iran and syria, and its assistance to syria's construction of a nuclear reactor illustrate its willingness to proliferate dangerous technologies." we've known that iran and north korea have been cooperating on ballistic missile technology and it's been suspected for over a decade that they also are working together on nuclear weapons development as well as ballistic technology. in the wake of the nuclear agreement with iran, iran is starting to see a flow of funds from sanctions relief of
potentially well in excess of $100 billion. as iran gets its flow of cash, i'm concerned that we'll see this illicit cooperation increase and that iran will use some of these funds to pay north korea for further testing and technology. this amendment, number 3294 would require a semiannual report to congress. that's all. this report would cover north korea's cooperation with iran on nuclear weapon and ballistic missile testing, development and research. we've been asking for this information and have not received it in a timely fashion. the administration would also be required to disclose to congress the identity of individuals who have knowingly engaged in or directed material support for or exchanged information between governments of iran and north korea for the nuclear programs and the semiannual report. in order for us to tackle this problem head on and to take steps to halt this illicit cooperation, we need a full report from the administration.
it's as simple as that. that's all this amendment does. i'm glad to see this body moving so swiftly to enact punitive sanctions on north korea for its recent actions. this amendment will help further strengthen efforts to punish rogue regimes. i'd like to also applaud the efforts of my colleagues on the foreign relations committee, senator gardner -- chairman corker and senator menendez for their work on getting this committee to the floor. their leadership on this issue has been tremendous and i look forward to working with them on the floor to see its passage. thank you, and i yield back. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call
through just -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. corker: i'd like to unanimous consent that it be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: thank you, sir. while we're waiting on senator peters to be here, i want to go through some of the history relative to the north korean program. i think sometimes there's been so much focus on other countries' programs -- i know senator gardner alluded to some aspects of it in his comments. but north korea's nuclear program actually dates back to the 1950's when they pursued nuclear energy cooperation with the soviet union. in the ensuing years, north korea acquired a full nuclear cycle including uranium enrichment capabilities. so this goes back to the 1950's, but in 2003, north korea announced its withdrawal from the nuclear nonproliferation
treaty and conducted four nuclear weapons tests in 2006, 2009, 2013, and 2016. experts believe the first two nuclear tests were plutonium-based and analysts assess the third nuclear test may have used highly enriched uranium. so they're on a two-tract route. in january of -- on january 6, 2016, north korea announced that it successfully tested its first hydrogen bomb. now, we don't have verification of that. we don't have intelligence back that would verify that was the type of test that took place. today north korea supposes nuclear weapons, a long-standing nuclear program at pyongyang, and a uranium enrichment capability which it revealed in 2010 after years of denials. open-source estimates of north korea's nuclear arsenal vary
from 10 devices to nearly 100 weapons. but most experts believe north korea's nuclear arsenal is somewhere in the range of 10 to 20 devices that are made of both plutonium and highly enriched uranium. north korea's weapons of mass destruction -- w.m.d. activities -- extend beyond its nuclear capabilities to include biological and kel chemical weas programs. it also maintains an extensive ballistic missile which poses a direct threat to allies, u.s. forces in the asia-pacific, and the united states. you live in a part of the world that is most directly certainly at threat. it also maintains -- north korea's missile program dates back to the 1970's, and in 1984 north korea conducted its first ballistic missile test of a scud-b ballistic missile.
north korea's ballistic missile arsenal includes shorter-range scud missiles that can travel nearly 300 miles. no-dong missiles that can travel up to 800 miles and several longer-range missiles that can travel from 4,000 upwards to 6,000 miles. in april 2012, north korea displayed at a military parade a new long-range missile variant known as kn-08. the missile was displayed on a chinese-made transporter erector launcher, and in the fall of 2015, north korea again displayed at a military parade the same missile on a chinese tail. in december 2012, north korea successfully launched the deyana launch 3 vehicle, placed a satellite into orbit,
representing a significant advancement in their missile technology capabilities. on february 7, 2016, north korea announced that it had successfully launched another satellite into orbit using the yana-3 launch vehicle. although the missile has not been tested, it is believed that the space launch vehicle technology has some similar technological features of an icbm. the head of the u.s. northern command, admiral william gart knee, has stated that the u.s.g. -- our government -- assessed that north korea could miniatu miniaturize the missile and place it on a missile that could reach the homeland. progress has occurred without any real actions taking place. this has gone through multiple administrations. north korea stands as one of the
foremost proliferators of w.m.d.-related missiles and ballistic missile technologies. north korea has engaged in w.m.d. with several states including iran, pakistan and libya. north korea also assisted syria in the construction of a plutonium-based nuclear reactor at ail kebar until israel destroyed that facility in 2007. in addition, it has been reported that north korea assisted both iran and pakistan with nuclear weapon design activity. so, again, i think it's very timely that we're taking this up. actually, beyond time, with the most recent activities that have taken place, though, this is timely. and, obviously, the policy -- again be, through multiple administrations, multiple
congresses -- has really been left untouched in a significant way. i really don' do believe that te legislation that hopefully will pass this body today with overwhelming support will be the beginning of a process, and we've just seerntion by th seen, with it being known that the united states house and senate were probably going to pass a very strong piece of legislation -- we're now seeing other countries in the region stepping up. so, again, it speaks to the power of us speaking in one voice and, again, pushing, as we did on iran years ago, pushing the international community to join in with us. i'm still disappointed that the u.n. security council cannot function, cannot function in a way to speak more collectively in that way. but i'm glad to she that countries in the -- but i'm glad to see that countries in the region, as a result of certainly
the stance that's being taken here -- and as a result of their own concerns about what is happening with north korea -- i'm glad to so tha see to see s like we're beginning to push towards international agreements toward nort north korea. with that, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. gardner: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: one of the other things that i think we have to mention, of course -- the presiding officer: we're in a quorum call. mr. gardner: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. gardner: one of the thanks we have to continue to reiterate
during today's debate is that this debate isn't about the people of north korea, it's about the dictator, the regime, the forgotten maniac kim jong-un, and his rein of terror in north korea, not only the people who are subject to detainment in camps, men and women who have been tortured and maimed, but it is about his leadership that seems to go along with it, a leadership that would aid and abet the torturing and maiming of innocent people. i think this chart perhaps, this picture, this satellite picture of the korean peninsula best illustrates what the people of north korea are subject to each and every day. you can see north korea right here, a big vast empty space at night, pyongyang is probably the brightest light source, compared
to souel, because they have been deprived of opportunity, because the people of north korea have been deprived of the freedoms that their south korean neighbors have enjoyed. you know, standing on the d.m.z. -- i know the presiding officer has been there as well -- standing on the d.m.z., you can see the differences between the development in north korea and south korea, and in just a few moments, i notice my colleague from michigan is here and is scheduled to speak -- in just a few minutes, i will go into this chart a little bit more about how this bill not only creates mandatory sanctions but also will give us tools to help the people of north korea. and so with that, mr. chairman, i would yield the floor in order for my colleague, senator peter from michigan, who we've had great opportunities to work with
before on legislation from telecommunications and cars that communicate with each other, and i'm grateful that he's here today to speak on this bill as well. mr. peters: thank you, mr. president. and today i rise in support of legislation currently before the senate to crack down on north korea's regime's repeated nuclear provocations, and i'd certainly like to thank my colleague, senator gardner, for his leadership on this issue as well. four years ago -- or, excuse me, four days ago on february 6, the world watched north korea launch a rocket into space in what is clearly an effort to test its advanced ballistic missile technology. the north korean satellite is now tumbling in orbit and incapable of functioning in any useful way. last month the regime announced it had successfully detonated a nuclear device as part of its rogue nuclear program, the fourth test we have detected in
north korea since 2006. this combination of incompetence, aggression, and defiance of the international community is dangerous and simply cannot stand. just yestee director of the national intelligence -- national intelligence james clapper testified it is likely north korea restarted the roorkt shuttered -- reactor since 2007 and could begin to recover fissile material within weeks. these defiant acts fly in the face of existing international sanctions and must be met with a strong and unified response from the world community. it is a step in the right direction that the u.n. security council has strongly condemned north korea's actions and vowed to adopt significant new punitive measures against the regime. however, the