Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) criticized the Obama administration for facing North Korea “with indifference instead of resolve” and argued “We can no longer stand idly by as North Korea builds an arsenal of mass destruction” while promoting the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act during Saturday’s GOP Weekly Address.
Transcript (via ABC News Radio) as Follows:
“Hi, I’m Senator Cory Gardner, and I’m proud to represent the great state of Colorado in the United States Senate.
For decades, the United States and our allies like Japan and South Korea have faced a complex threat in North Korea.
And while the Obama Administration has rightfully focused attention on developments in the Middle East, for too long it has turned a blind eye to the North Korean threat.
A rogue regime headed by a leader with no respect for human dignity, North Korea’s Forgotten Maniac—Kim Jong-Un—has been met with indifference instead of resolve.
It’s time to reverse this Administration’s failed policy of ‘strategic patience.’
Recent headlines confirm this.
North Korea has conducted four nuclear tests, three of which occurred during the Obama Administration. Earlier this month, North Korea launched a long-range rocket.
We know that the regime is expanding its nuclear stockpile and its capabilities are growing. North Korea may already possess as many as 20 nuclear warheads, with the potential to gain as many as 100 within the next five years.
Furthermore, our military experts have warned that the situation on the Korean Peninsula may be at its most unstable point in over sixty years. They believe that North Korea has the ability to miniaturize an atomic weapon and place it on a rocket that has the ability to reach the homeland.
North Korea’s illicit behavior doesn’t stop with its proliferation activities.
The regime has intensified its cyberwarfare as evidenced by its attacks on South Korea’s financial systems and the hack of Sony Pictures here in the United States.
North Korea also has a long history of horrific human rights abuses and continues to maintain a vast network of political prison camps.
We can no longer stand idly by as North Korea builds an arsenal of mass destruction, grows its cyber capabilities, and tortures as many as 200,000 of its own men, women, and children.
We must apply the pressure required to change the Forgotten Maniac’s pattern of belligerent behavior that endangers the globe.
That’s why the Senate in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, recently passed my North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act.
My bill is a tough rebuke of Kim Jung Un and a dramatic change in US policy toward North Korea.
It imposes mandatory sanctions on individuals who contribute to North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program, its malicious cyber-attacks, its censorship activities, and the regime’s continued human rights abuses.
It also mandates that the Administration develop a comprehensive strategy to address the regime’s human rights abuses and cyber activities.
The goal of this bill is simple: to quell North Korea’s aggression, peacefully disarm the regime, and restore human rights.
During his final State of the Union address, President Obama acknowledged that ‘our foreign policy must be focused on the threat from ISIL and al Qaeda, but it can’t stop there.’
And I couldn’t agree more with that statement.
It’s time for the United States to lead.
We must set an example and send a message to the rest of the world that America will not tolerate patterns of belligerence – a message that America will lead.”
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