Senator Scott Votes for Strong Sanctions on North Korea Following Missile Launch

Washington – Following North Korea’s illegal missile launch earlier this month, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) today voted to both enact strong new sanctions against individuals involved in North Korea’s nuclear program and proliferation activities and hold officials involved in censoring the regime’s continued human rights abuses accountable. The North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act imposes mandatory sanctions on individuals who contribute to North Korea’s nuclear program and proliferation activities, malicious cyberattacks, censorship of its citizens, and the regime’s continued human rights abuses.

“America cannot stand by silently as the rogue regime in NorthKoreacontinues to escalate both their actions and rhetoric regarding nuclear weapons,” Scott said.”North Korea’s recent long range, illicit missile test and ongoing nuclear program require a response that holds them accountable for ongoing efforts to flout international law and endanger others around the globe. The North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act would enforce aclear set of new sanctions to address these and many other troubling activities in North Korea, including malicious cyberattacks, censorship of its citizens, and their ongoing human rights abuses.”

The North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act includes the following key provisions:


  • The bill requires the president to investigate sanctionable conduct, including proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), arms-related materials, luxury goods, human rights abuses, activities undermining cyber security and the provision of industrial inputs such as precious metals or coal for use in a tailored set of activities, including WMD, proliferation activities and prison and labor camps.
  • The president is mandated to sanction any person found to have materially contributed to, engaged in or facilitated the above activities.
  • Penalties for sanctionable activities include the seizure of assets, visa bans and denial of government contracts.
  • The president retains the discretionary authority to sanction those transferring or facilitating the transfer of financial assets and property of the North Korean regime.
  • The president may waive sanctions, but only on a case-by-case basis.
  • The bill requires the Secretary of Treasury to determine whether North Korea is a primary money laundering concern. If such a determination is made, assets must be blocked and special measures applied against those designated persons

Strategies and Policies:

  • The bill requires a strategy to promote improved implementation and enforcement of multilateral sanctions; a strategy to combat North Korean cyber activities; and a strategy to promote and encourage international engagement on North Korean human rights-related issues. There are reporting requirements related to the above strategies as well as a report on political prison camps and a feasibility study on providing communications equipment to the people of North Korea.
  • The State Department is required to expand the scope and frequency of travel warnings for North Korea

The bill also states that it is the policy of the United States to vigorously pursue sanctions against the North Korean government in order to peacefully disarm the North Korean regime. It would require the President to submit a strategy to counter North Korean cyber-related attacks and impose U.S. sanctions on cybercriminals, and require a report by the State Department identifying human rights abusers in North Korea and a report on the North Korean regimes’ political prison camps.