Hagerty, Menendez Introduce Legislation to Bolster Congressional Oversight Framework for Denuclearization of Korean Peninsula

September 13, 2022

WASHINGTON—United States Senators Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have introduced the North Korea Policy Oversight Act of 2022, new legislation to bolster congressional oversight of U.S. diplomacy with North Korea.

With the recent publication of a U.S. intelligence report confirming international sanctions and export controls are forcing Vladimir Putin to turn to North Korea to supply rockets and artillery shells for his illegal war on Ukraine, the new bipartisan legislation broadens U.S. efforts to further isolate Pyongyang and deny the government in North Korea and those that participate in illicit transactions with them access to the United States’ and global financial systems.

Similarly, the legislation reaffirms U.S. policy to continue imposing consistent and robust sanctions on North Korea to dismantle its nuclear, cruise, and ballistic missile programs. Since January 2022, Kim Jong Un’s regime has conducted 13 ballistic missile tests, at least three of which were intercontinental ballistic missiles in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. In the strongest statement about Kim Jong Un’s nuclear doctrine, North Korea last week enacted a new law declaring itself an “irreversible” nuclear weapons state and outlining additional circumstances for deploying weapons of mass destruction.

“At a dangerous time when the threat of North Korea continues to mount, this important bipartisan legislation will impose additional sanctions on North Korea’s ability to generate revenue to fund its unlawful WMD programs, bolster support for denuclearization of North Korea, and provide additional Congressional oversight of U.S.-DPRK negotiations,” said Senator Hagerty.  

“As the international community continues to rally around a common cause in support of the people of Ukraine and against violent dictators writ large, the continuing danger of further conventional military provocation from North Korea that could reignite a serious military clash between North and South remains high, as does the potential for unintended escalation that could draw in the United States in a deadly and dangerous confrontation on the Peninsula,” said Chairman Menendez. “Adding insult to injury, we now know Vladimir Putin is so isolated that he is turning to pariah states like North Korea and Iran to try to continue his campaign of killing Ukrainians. But Russia’s desperation and lawlessness should not provide fertile ground to embolden Kim Jong Un by filling his coffers for nuclear weapons and missile programs. This bipartisan bill will go a long way in advancing peace and security in the Indo-Pacific by expanding and tightening enforcement of sanctions for North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile development and other destructive activities of the Kim regime.”

A copy of the North Korea Policy Oversight Act of 2022 can be found here.

A copy of the section-by-section summary can be found here.