North Korea Sanctions Bill

Published: February 13, 2016

North Korea Sanctions Bill, Moving swiftly, the U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval to a tough package of sanctions against North Korea on Friday in a countermeasure to the North’s long-range rocket launch on Feb. 7 and the nuclear test on Jan. 6.

The House approved the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016 in a 408-2 vote, only two days after the Senate passed the legislation unanimously, Yonhap and various other news agencies reported.

The legislation is expected to go into effect if and when President Barack Obama signs it. President Obama is expected to sign it sometime early next week.

This is the first bipartisan legislation the U.S. Congress has passed exclusively targeting North Korea and entails tougher sanctions against the North’s financial and economic activities to deny North Korea the money it needs to develop its nuclear and missile programs, to heighten cyber attacks, or to import or purchase luxury goods.

The legislation includes sanctions targeting North Korea and any person or entity who does business with the North or facilitates or contributes business with them.

“We cannot stand by any longer. The legislation we consider today is the most comprehensive legislation about North Korea sanctions to come before this body,” Rep. Ed Royce (Republican – California), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and one of the original writers of the legislation, was quoted as saying in remarks to the House before the vote.

The sanctions follow South Korea’s closure of the joint industrial complex in Gaeseong, North Korea this week.

Japan also announced sanctions on Wednesday that included more restrictions on travel between the two countries and a complete ban on visits by North Korean ships to Japan.

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