The House nearly unanimously voted to condemn North Korea this morning for its recent nuclear test — with two exceptions from the GOP.
The resolution condemned Pyongyang “for its flagrant and repeated violations” of UN Security Council resolutions, expressed solidarity with North Koreans who suffer under the Kim dynasty, reaffirmed the U.S. alliances with South Korea and Japan, and called upon China to step in and help.
It also called upon the administration to “apply all available sanctions on North Korea,” “to utilize aggressively the range of available legal authorities and resources to defend United States interests against North Korean illicit activities,” and to strengthen our ballistic missile defense system.
It passed 412-2, with Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and freshman Tom Massie (R-Ky.) voting “no.”
“North Korea’s latest nuclear test is a stark reminder that Kim Jong Un is determined to develop his nuclear arsenal while depriving North Koreans of their most basic human rights. Decades of fruitless negotiations have been a failure. As North Korea continues to disregard international norms, it is important that this House has spoken out,” said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.).
Royce will be introducing legislation targeting North Korea’s ability to access hard currency.
“We can no longer just hope that North Korea will give up its weapons for aid,” he said. “We must be proactive in addressing this growing threat to our allies and the United States.”
Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) called Pyongyang’s actions “an unnecessary provocation, raising tensions in northeast Asia and posing a threat to United States national security.”
“China must play an active role in influencing North Korea to cease their dangerous behavior,” Engel said. “In the face of this aggression, Congress and the American people, Democrats and Republicans alike, will remain vigilant in punishing the North Korean regime and strengthening cooperation with our allies South Korea and Japan.”
PJM is waiting for responses from Amash and Massie on why they voted against the resolution.