The United States must deal with North Korea like it handled the Mafia, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce says.
“We must go after Kim Jong Un’s illicit activities like we went after organized crime in the United States,” the California Republican said at a Capitol Hill hearing. “Identify the network, interdict shipments, and disrupt the flow of money.
“This would sever a key subsidy for North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
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Royce said disrupting Pyonyang’s illicit activities will place tremendous strain on the country’s ruling elite.
North Korea conducted its third and most powerful test in February on the same day that President Barack Obama addressed Congress in his annual State of the Union speech. It followed December’s launch of a three-stage, intercontinental ballistic missile.
“Three nuclear tests later, we must be realistic and find a better alternative,” Royce said. “A failed approach to North Korea doesn’t result in just a more dangerous region, but a more dangerous world.”
He cited evidence that North Korea helped to build a nuclear reactor in Syria and that Iran has benefited from its long-range missile technology.
The United States and China have agreed on a new round of sanctions at the United Nations — which are due to be formally announced on Thursday — as a result of North Korea’s February nuclear test.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have increased after the North launched the long-range rocket in December, the second provocation since a test in 2006.
A top North Korean general on Tuesday threatened to pull out of an armistice agreement that led to a truce between North and South Korea in 1953. The threat came in response to what he said were “hostile” drills between the United States and South Korean forces that began March 1.
South Korea’s military said it will strike back at North Korea and target its top leadership if Pyongyang launches a threatened attack in response to the drills.
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