Legislation and Appropriations
This briefing book contains legislation, including congressional authorization and appropriation bills, on matters relevant to North Korea.
The "Korean War Veterans Memorial Wall of Remembrance Act" was signed into law by President Obama on October 7, 2016 and introduced and championed by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), with the support of fellow Korean War veterans, Representatives Charles Rangel and John Conyers. The bill would authorize the creation of a Wall of Remembrance to honor members of the U.S. Armed Forces, the ROK Armed Forces, and other nations of the UN Command who died, were wounded, listed as missing in action, or prisoners of war in the Korean War.
The “Bring our Heroes Home Act of 2016” was introduced by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and acts to create a “Missing Armed Forces Personnel Records Collection” at the National Archives and public disclosure of such records. To this end, the Act also expresses its views that the Secretary of State should contact North Korea to seek disclosure of all records it has related to Missing Armed Forces Personnel.
Introduced by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), the “Burma Strategy Act of 2016” would authorize assistance to Burma and outlines a principled engagement strategy “for a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Burma that respects the human rights of all of its people.” This legislation includes a recommended review of whether “completely [ceasing] ties with North Korea” should be included in the criteria for sanctions removal.
A resolution introduced by Sen. Benjamin Cardin, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, condemning North Korea for its fifth nuclear test and calling on it to abandon its nuclear weapons and missile program immediately. It further calls on China to act on North Korea and calls on the UNSC to adopt additional sanctions measures. It also reaffirms U.S. alliance, defense, and deterrence commitments in the region, including the deployment of THAAD and other missile defense efforts.
Resolution introduced by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) and passed by the House of Representatives expressing ongoing concern about the unsolved disappearance of a US citizen in Yunnan, China in 2004, and urging an investigation that includes consideration of the possibility that he was abducted by North Korea. Concurrent resolutions were first introduced to the House (H.Con.Res.114) and Senate (S.Con.Res.30) in early February 2016, but have yet to be passed.
The “Block Access to North Korea Act of 2016” or “BANK Act of 2016” was introduced into the House by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) to hamper North Korea’s nuclear program by blocking North Korea’s access to specialized financial messaging services (re: SWIFT). The Act authorizes the designation of sanctions on persons who provide such services directly or indirectly to the North Korea’s Central Bank, financial institutions that provide financial services for North Korea’s nuclear development, and/or other individuals already sanctioned by the U.S. for assisting North Korea’s nuclear development and proliferation.
The “Prohibiting Future Ransom Payments to Iran Act” was introduced into the House by Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-CA), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. It was passed by House on September 26, 2016 and is currently referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The Bill prohibits cash payments from the U.S. Government to the Government of Iran and the payment of ransom or release prisoners to secure the release of US citizens taken hostage abroad. An amendment (H.Amdt.1432) was introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and incorporated, which further prohibits cash and precious metal payments from the U.S. Government to designated state sponsors of terrorism and North Korea.
Legislation introduced by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) to reauthorize the North Korean Human Rights Act of 2004 until 2022 (formerly 2017).
H.Res.799 - Calling on the United States Government to resume talks with the DPRK regarding the research, investigation, recovery, and identification of missing and unaccounted members of the US Armed Forces
Resolution introduced by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) calling upon the U.S. government to resume talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to make substantial progress in the research, investigation, recovery, and identification of missing and unaccounted members of the U.S. Armed Forces from the Korean War.
S.Res.190 - A resolution encouraging reunions of Korean Americans who were divided by the Korean War from relatives in North Korea.
Resolution introduced by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) encouraging the reunion of Korean Americans and their relatives in North Korea.
On April 28, 2016, the Senate unanimously passed a State Department Authorization bill, an important piece of legislation authorizing and providing guidance to U.S. diplomatic activities. As of May 2016, the legislation has not yet been taken up by the House. Sections pertaining to North Korea are excerpted in this document.
Senate bill, introduced by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), requiring that the State Department make efforts related to reuniting Korean-Americans with their family members in North Korea.
H.Res. 634, Recognizing the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea-Japan trilateral relationship
Resolution introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) recognizing the importance of the United States-Republic of Korea-Japan trilateral relationship to counter North Korean threats and nuclear proliferation, and to ensure regional security and human rights. The resolution was passed by the House on September 7, 2016.
The "Distribution and Promotion of Rights and Knowledge" or DPRK Act of 2016 was introduced into the House by Rep. Matt Salmon, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. It would amend the North Korean Human Rights Act to authorize further action promoting freedom of information in North Korea.
H.Con.Res 116: Condemning North Korea’s February 6, 2016, long-range rocket launch and North Korea’s February 9, 2016, restart of a plutonium reactor.
Resolution introduced by Rep. Brad Ashford (D-NE).
Final version of HR 757, the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016.
Senate resolution introduced by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) expressing concern about the unsolved disappearance of a US citizen in Yunnan, China in 2004, and urging an investigation that includes consideration of the possibility that he was abducted by North Korea. A parallel resolution (H.Con.Res. 114) was introduced in the House by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT).
The North Korea and Iran Sanctions Act, introduced to the Senate in February 2016 by Senator John Thune, would provide for immediate reinstatement of U.S. sanctions against Iran if Iran attempts to acquire nuclear weapons technology from North Korea.
This sanctions bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Cory Gardner, Marco Rubio, and James Risch. It is generally similar to parallel legislation in the House and another Senate bill introduced by Senators Robert Menendez and Lindsay Graham, but with several key differences.
S. 1747, To improve the enforcement of sanctions against the Government of North Korea, and for other purposes.
Legislation introduced by Senator Robert Menendez, and co-sponsored by Senator Lindsay Graham, which would expand the scope of U.S. sanctions on North Korea.