Following the death of college student Otto Warmbier and with the expansion of North Korea's missile tests, it's time to cut off all hard currency going into the nation, Rep. Ed Royce said Thursday.
"Otto's father was right," the California Republican, who chairs the House Foreign Relations Committee, told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "This is such a horrible tragedy and, in the way that he was treated, but people are increasingly enticed into coming to North Korea to visit North Korea. We've got to put an end to that."
Royce said he has legislation pending that would block revenues flowing into North Korea from their illicit activities, "like the use of indentured servitude of workers that they send overseas," which needs to "be shut off right now."
Royce's bill passed in the House, but has been on hold in the Senate for over a month, and it's time for it to be passed, he said.
"Now that we have seen that they have tortured Otto, and are preparing a site, potentially, for another nuclear testing site, now more than ever is the time to send the message that we are going to cut off their capability," said Royce. "They make over a billion dollars just from sending their workers overseas to these countries, which pay the regime in North Korea."
President Donald Trump earlier this week tweeted that China tried, but has not been able to control, North Korea. Royce said he wants to make it clear, through his legislation, countries subsidizing North Korea will also come under sanctions.
"If you give a bank in China a choice between doing business with the United States and North Korea, it is a choice between being economically viable versus bankruptcy; if they are not doing business with us, they will cut off their business ties with North Korea," said Royce. "That is exactly what did happen in Asia, when the sanctions were put years ago on North Korea."
Royce said that the House will also move legislation for Russia sanctions, even though the Senate has had issues with a bill already passed.
"The original sanctions that I supported, these are being passed through the Senate," said Royce. "What has happened so far is that the legislation that they, all revenue bills have to originate in the House, so that is a change that I think it can be made in the Senate, and we will do that."
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