Chairman Barr, Ranking Member Moore, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today on restricting North Korea’s access to financial services.
The United States has in place an array of sanctions and other restrictive financial measures on North Korea to expose and constrain its increasingly dangerous missile and nuclear proliferation activities. Since 2006, North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests including, most recently, two in January and September 2016. The country has also conducted a series of ballistic missile tests, including over 80 since Kim Jong Un’s rise to power in 2011. In response to this growing threat, since 2006 U.S. leaders have worked with international counterparts to bring into force an array of United Nations Security Council resolutions with sanctions on North Korea, responding to provocative and dangerous nuclear and missile tests by the rogue state, including three resolutions since 2016. U.S. leaders have also urged many like-minded nations to amplify the multilateral effort by imposing their own restrictive financial measures.
These various sanctions programs have focused primarily on North Korea’s proliferation activities and networks, both those in support of Pyongyang’s weapons capability and its activities to supply other countries with components and technology. In the more recent past, international sanctions have expanded to include broader restrictions on North Korea’s economy and trade to deny the country the ability to earn hard currency to support its dangerous proliferation activities. Policy leaders have also expanded their sanctions authorities to target North Korea’s human rights abuses and malicious cyber activity.
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The full testimony is available online.