U.S. Senate to vote on hitting North Korea with tougher sanctions

WASHINGTON - The Senate is considering hitting North Korea with more stringent sanctions in the wake of Pyongyang's satellite launch and technical advances that U.S.

See Full Article

intelligence agencies say the reclusive Asian nation is making in its nuclear weapons program.

The bill that senators are expected to vote on Wednesday targets North Korea's ability to access the money it needs for developing miniaturized nuclear warheads and the long-range missiles to deliver them, according to the legislation's backers.

The House overwhelmingly approved a similar measure last month and there is strong bipartisan support in the Senate for the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act.

"The kind of belligerence we've seen from Pyongyang must not be ignored," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday.

North Korea on Sunday launched a long-range rocket carrying an Earth observation satellite into space. The launch, which came about a month after the country's fourth nuclear test, was quickly condemned by world leaders as a potential threat to regional and global security.

Washington, Seoul and others consider the launch a banned test of missile technology. That assessment is based on Pyongyang's open efforts to manufacture nuclear-tipped missiles capable of striking the U.S. mainland and that the technology used to launch a rocket carrying a satellite into space can be applied to fire a long-range missile.

In the annual assessment of global threats delivered to Congress on Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said North Korea has expanded a uranium enrichment facility and restarted a plutonium reactor that could start recovering material for nuclear weapons in weeks or months.

Both findings will deepen concern that North Korea is not only making technical advances in its nuclear weapons program, but is working to expand what is thought to be a small nuclear arsenal. U.S.-based experts have estimated that North Korea may have about 10 bombs, but that could grow to between 20 and 100 by 2020.

Clapper said that Pyongyang has not flight

tested a long-range, nuclear-armed missile but is committed to its development.

Underscoring the difficulty of understanding North Korea's actual intentions, Clapper said the U.S. does not know whether North Korea would use nuclear weapons for defensive or retaliatory purposes.

"We have long assessed that Pyongyang's nuclear capabilities are intended for deterrence, international prestige, and coercive diplomacy," he said.

North Korea already faces wide-ranging sanctions from the United States and under existing UN resolutions is prohibited from trading in weapons and importing luxury goods.

At the UN Security Council, the United States and China have been working on the text of a new sanctions resolution since North Korea's Jan. 6 nuclear test and last weekend's rocket launch. The council pledged to adopt "significant new measures" at an emergency meeting Sunday. The United States, backed by its Western allies, Japan and South Korea, want tough new sanctions that would impact North Korea's ability to do business. But diplomats say China, the North's ally and key protector in the Security Council, is reluctant to impose economic measures that could cause North Korea's economy to collapse.

The new legislation that the Senate is considering seeks additional sanctions - both mandatory and at the discretion of the president - against the government of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and those who assist it.

It would require the investigation and punishment of those who knowingly import into North Korea any goods or technology related to weapons of mass destruction; those who engage in human rights abuses, money laundering and counterfeiting that supports the Kim regime; and those who engage in "cyber-terrorism."

The bill also bans foreign assistance to any country that provides lethal military equipment to North Korea, and targets Pyongyang's trade in key industrial commodities.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously approved the legislation.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Public servants' disability claims stuck in Phoenix pay-system backlog

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    The federal government’s insurer has set aside more than $45 million to cover sick and injured public servants whose disability claims are trapped in the Miramichi pay centre backlog because of the Phoenix debacle. Sun Life Financial advised Treasury Board and the health plan’s management board that the “abnormal delays” caused by the Phoenix backlog prompted the insurance company to set aside the additional reserves for claims it knows public servants have filed but can’t be processed until…
  • Sgt. Hrnchiar charged with discreditable conduct after comments posted online following death of Inuit artist

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Postmedia News First posted: Sunday, October 23, 2016 11:41 AM EDT | Updated: Sunday, October 23, 2016 01:55 PM EDT Source
  • Syrian refugee turned Calgary entrepreneur receives award for helping with Fort McMurray relief

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    She is setting the bar for Syrian refugees in Calgary through hard work and helping Albertans along the way. Rita Khanchet Kallas came to Canada in 2015 with her husband and son as part of the first groups of Syrian refugees to arrive in Calgary. Source
  • Young man dead, parents critically injured, and family devastated after allegedly booze-fueled crash

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    While a mother and father barely cling to life in hospital after their vehicle was struck by an allegedly drunk driver, it's entirely possible they don't yet know their son died in the crash. Meanwhile, a seasoned Calgary traffic officer is letting his outrage show that a person's alleged choice to get behind the wheel while impaired has not only cut short the life of a young man just 19 years old and left two people critical, but has "destroyed an entire family. Source
  • Venezuela Congress declares President Maduro has staged coup

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela's Congress on Sunday declared that the government had staged a coup by blocking a drive to recall President Nicolas Maduro in a raucous legislative session that was interrupted when his supporters stormed the chamber. Source
  • Toronto woman wrongly billed for Uber ride in Poland says she feels 'violated'

    Canada News CBC News
    A Toronto woman says she feels she was taken for a ride after being billed for an Uber trip ordered on her account that she didn't take — 7,000 kilometres away in Krakow, Poland. Laura Hesp was at home in her apartment in Toronto on Monday when she says she received a text saying an Uber driver would be there in five minutes to pick her up. Source
  • Is Yellowknife ready to reckon with its toxic legacy?

    Canada News CBC News
    Fifty years after the worst of the arsenic emissions from Giant mine, lichen has yet to re-establish itself on the bald granite downwind of the mine. Research is showing that pollution from the mine is far more persistent than anyone suspected. Source
  • Murderer seeks prison transfer from Thailand to Canada

    World News Toronto Sun
    BANGKOK - Half a decade has passed inside his humid Thai prison cell, where he sleeps on the concrete floor, “living like an animal.” Yet when Michael Karas emerges, he’s an optimist. Karas, 60, picks up the telephone in visitation room No. Source
  • Looking past Trump, Clinton aims to help other Democrats

    World News CTV News
    DURHAM, N.C. -- Newly confident and buoyant in the polls, Hillary Clinton is looking past Donald Trump while widening her mission to include helping Democrats seize the Senate and chip away at the Republican-controlled House. Source
  • Newly confident Clinton aims to help other Democrats

    World News CTV News
    DURHAM, N.C. -- Newly confident and buoyant in the polls, Hillary Clinton is looking past Donald Trump while widening her mission to include helping Democrats seize the Senate and chip away at the Republican-controlled House. Source