DearColleague.us

Letter

 

From: The Honorable Ted Poe
Sent By:
miranda.lutz@mail.house.gov

Bill: H.R. 479
Date: 3/7/2017

Cosponsor H.R. 479, The North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act of 2017

 

Dear Colleague,

State media in Pyongyang reported that North Korea was practicing to strike United States military bases in Japan with its latest barrage of missiles. This worrying report comes on the heels of South Korean and Malaysian official allegations that North Korea’s
secret police and Foreign Ministry were involved in the poisoning and killing of the estranged brother of the country’s leader, Kim Jong-nam, using the chemical weapon VX nerve agent on February 13, 2017. Please join me in calling on the Administration to
ramp up the pressure on Pyongyang and issue a report determining if North Korea should be placed back on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list.

North Korea was on the State Sponsor of Terrorism list for 20 years, during which the State Department cited its repeated support for acts of international terrorism and its dangerous proliferation activities. However, on October 11, 2008, North Korea was
removed from the list, not because its actions had changed, but rather as diplomatic leverage so that North Korea would dismantle its nuclear weapons program. The agreement failed: North Korea has since conducted four nuclear tests and continued providing
support to terrorist groups.

All the reasons that the State Department cited during North Korea’s designation are still relevant. In fact, North Korea’s actions have only gotten worse. In 2009 three North Korean arms shipments bound for terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas were
seized by the UAE, Israel, and Thailand. In 2014, Western security sources reported that Hamas brokered an agreement to purchase communications equipment and rockets from North Korea. North Koreans have even advised both Hezbollah and Hamas in the construction
of their terrorist tunnel networks. And North Korea was responsible for the cyber-attack against Sony Pictures that included direct threats against its employees and a warning to “Remember the 11th of September 2001.”

North Korea’s actions threaten our infrastructure, our economy, and ultimately our national security. In a hearing I held in October 2015, Ambassador Sung Kim testified that North Korea’s “conduct poses a growing threat to the United States, our friends
in the region, and the global nonproliferation regime.” It’s time to reevaluate U.S. policy towards North Korea before the situation gets more out of hand. My bill, H.R. 479, requires the Secretary of State to report to Congress whether North Korea directly
or indirectly acted in a way that constitutes support for international terrorism. If the answer to that question is in the affirmative, then the Secretary has to determine if North Korea should return to the State Sponsor of Terrorism list and to explain
that determination.

We must use all the tools at our disposal to stand up to this belligerent regime, including seriously reconsidering putting North Korea back on the State Sponsor of Terrorism List. Please contact
luke.murry@mail.house.gov with any questions or to become a cosponsor of this legislation.

 

Sincerely,

/s/

TED POE

Member of Congress