tv North Korea Sanctions Bill News Conference CSPAN July 13, 2017 2:36am-2:49am EDT
the latest in the house investigation into russia in the 2016 election. the sure to watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern thursday morning. join the discussion. >> today, two senators, chris van hollen and pat toomey, introduced in north korea sanctions bill aimed at stopping their nuclear weapons development. they held a news conference on capitol hill to discuss the measure. thank all of you for joining us today. i'm very pleased to be here with my friend, senator toomey, who has been a leader on banking issues, on national security issues, and we are here to announce that we will be introducing bipartisan legislation to strengthen the enforcement of the international
sanctions against north korea with the goal of achieving a nuclear free korean peninsula. north korea's recent test of an icbm potentially capable of hitting alaska significantly raises the stakes and the threat posed by north korea's nuclear weapons program. north korea is estimated to have enough material for 13 to 21 nuclear weapons and could produce enough nuclear material for an additional seven warheads per year. we believe it has carried out five nuclear tests in's 2006. we must operate on the assumption that on the current trajectory, north korea will be able to develop intercontinental missiles capable of hitting the mainland united states in addition to alaska. extensivee had an sanctions regime, including the security council, there is not
an adequate enforcement of the sanctions. there's been lots of leakage. for years, north korea has found ways to evade international sanctions, relying on a complex network of front companies and aliases to gain access to the international financial system. a u.n. panel of expert released a report this past february when the panel described these illicit financial networks, stating, the business conducted by some of these networks generates significant revenue for the north korean regime, and pointed out that most of the financial activity was denominated in u.s. dollars, euros, or renminbi. the panel found that despite financial sanctions imposed in 2016 and before, north korea's networks are adapting by using agents experienced in moving
money across borders, and by foreign businesses, banks, and companies that are complicit in this effort. they did identify chinese financial institutions as the number one culprit among others throughout the international community. last year, the u.s. treasury department said this network of front companies directly supports north korea's weapons of mass destruction program. department of treasury also said north korea is a threat to the u.s. financial system. our legislation will target these intermediaries and facilitators, imposing mandatory sanctions and finds on the banks, companies, and financiers that conduct business with north korea. we intend to present a clear choice. you can do business with us or you can do business with north korea, but you cannot do business with both. the penalties are escalating, allowing foreign firms the
chance to change course and stop working with the north korean regime. this model is patterned after the iran sanctions legislation which we both supported, which passed in 2010 and 2012, which were critical in getting iran to the nuclear negotiating table. we believe the secondary sanctions will show the united states is serious about cracking down on those who refuse to stop doing business with north korea. the sanctions will force governments and the private sector to ensure they are conducting enhanced due diligence, to make sure north korea is not part of their economic relations. we will authorize the president to also sanction foreign government that are evading international sanctions on north korea, and we seek to terminate the connections between north korea and its financial system by authorizing sanctions for entities that provide financial message services to north korea.
our sanctions are part of a broader campaign, one that as secretary tillerson indicated, must be prepared with rigorous diplomacy. by cutting off north korea's access to the international financial system, we believe we will increase the chances of getting north korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program once and for all. our goal is clear. uclearized korean peninsula. it is time we accomplish that goal. i'm pleased to be here with pat toomey, someone i've had a chance to work with when i was in the house, and look forward to working with him on this and many other issues. he's been a great leader on national security issues as well as financial issues and banking. sen. toomey: thank you very much.
i also want to say how pleased i am to be working with senator van hollen. i'm grateful for his leadership on this issue and other issues. i think this is very constructive legislation and it's essential that it be bipartisan so this can go the distance and become law. we call this the banking restrictions involving north korea act, or the brink act. it is because we are close to a brink here. intercontinental ballistic missiles. they can already reach parts of the united states. north korea has demonstrated the ability to detonate nuclear devices. it is plausible that they have the ability to put miniaturized nuclear weapons in an intercontinental ballistic missile. it is not a question of whether. it is a question of when they would be able to deliver those weapons to virtually anywhere in
the united states of america. this is a menace that we cannot tolerate. we cannot allow north korea to achieve its goal of being able to hold the united states hostage to nuclear attack. the fact is china and other countries still maintain close ties to north korea, and they have provided the north korean regime with a lifeline despite countless u.n. sanctions and security council resolutions that permit this. our -- that fervid this. our legislation would require the president to impose certain sanctions on institutions that are making this possible, specifically the financial institutions that clear the transactions that allow businesses to do business with north korea that keeps that regime afloat.
our goal is to raise the cost of pursuing this nuclear capability, to a point so i that the regime in north korea will decide it is no longer worth pursuing this. they cannot sustain themselves in the path they are on. the legislation requires the administration to identify the institutions that are in violation of the sanctions regime and it would mandate the imposition of sanctions that make aorce them to simple choice. they can either do business or the united states or do business with any country denominated in dollars, or they can do business with north korea. hard to imagine many institutions would choose the latter. finally, it is our intention this legislation would adopt the model that was recently used in the russian sanctions that were added to the iran sanctions
legislation, which would require congressional review on any decision to lift the sanctions. thank you very much to senator van hollen. thanks for being here. we will welcome a few questions. commitment gotten a -- [inaudible] sen. toomey: i have spoken with chairman crapo and i believe that he is very open to doing a markup soon. can you talk about -- [inaudible] sen. van hollen: i think the sanctions are essential. the president has stated that it is not acceptable for the north korean regime to be able to menace the united states with weapons. i think he's right.
we think this is a necessary part of making sure that capability does not develop. [inaudible] sen. van hollen: it does a number of things. we do believe it authorizes some additional authorities that they don't have, certainly not by statute, and we want to make it very clear and unambiguous that the administration has broad authority to take sanctions. we also think it's very important to send a clear signal that we will be imposing sanctions on financial institutions. waiver procedure, but
it is subject to congressional review. at this moment, we believe that enforcement is key. if you think about it, it will be interesting to hear the reaction of people throughout the international community. the united states has bilateral sanctions, but there are also broad and deep sanctions through the un's security council. this is a question of enforcing sanctions that already apply. but we know from the experts report that came out in february that there are lots of loopholes. is running that because of lack of adequate enforcement. this worked with iran and we think it can work with north korea. thank you all very much. thank you for joining us.
>> over the next few days, the house will be donating the annual defense authorization bill dealing with military programs and policy. for details about what's in the bill, we talked to a capitol hill reporter. o'brien's defense reporter for politico, joining us to talk about the defense programs built for 2018. how much spending does this bill authorized, and how does it deal with the current budget caps with defense and war funding? conor: this bill authorizes just under $700 million in military programs. that includes weapons systems, personnel training, even some programs for nuclear weapons under the energy department. as far as the budget caps that were