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Engel Statement on Trump's "Armada" to North Korea

Apr 19, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding North Korea:

“The Kim Regime’s irresponsible and bellicose behavior makes North Korea one of the most serious threats to American national security and the stability of the Asia-Pacific region. So it’s entirely appropriate that the United States use diplomatic, economic, and other coercive tools to ratchet up pressure on the regime.

“With North Korea continuing to test ballistic missiles and possibly preparing for another nuclear test, we must take great care to ensure that the current situation doesn’t escalate into a devastating military conflict. The last thing we need from the White House is reckless saber-rattling and irresponsible efforts to communicate complex national security policies 140 characters at a time.

“The current situation calls for clarity of purpose and close coordination with our allies. Yet the Trump Administration’s shocking misinformation—whether through negligence or intentional falsehood—regarding the location and mission of an American aircraft carrier battle group in the Asia Pacific region damages America’s credibility with both adversaries and friends, heightens concern around the region, and undermines efforts to work in concert with our partners. The White House’s explanation today only added to this sense of befuddlement.

“The Trump Administration needs to articulate a credible strategy for addressing the threat posed by North Korea. And the President must come to Congress before taking military action.”

Background

Ranking Member Engel, along with Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Sherman and Chairman Yoho, introduced HR 1644, a bill designed to increase economic and diplomatic pressure on the North Korean regime. This bill passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously on March 29, 2017 and is now awaiting action on the House Floor.

Last Congress, Ranking Member Engel introduced with Chairman Royce HR 757, the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enforcement Act of 2016, which was the first comprehensive North Korea sanctions bill of its kind to be signed into law. Following the passage of this legislation, the United Nations Security Council passed two resolutions applying additional sanctions against North Korea.

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