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RELEASE: 16 Senators Offer Amendment to Re-List North Korea as Sponsor of Terrorism

June 3, 2009

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2009

Office of U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina)

Contact: Wesley Denton (202) 228-5079

16 Senators Offer Amendment to Re-List North Korea as Sponsor of Terrorism
DeMint to force vote this week saying “North Korea’s provocative actions must have immediate consequences.”

WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, said he intends to force a vote on an amendment to the FDA Tobacco Bill that would require the Secretary of State to relist North Korea on the State-Sponsor of Terrorism List. The amendment is cosponsored by 15 Republicans including U.S. Senators Bob Bennett (R-Utah), Kit Bond (R-Missouri), Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky), Richard Burr (R-North Carolina), Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia), Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Mike Johanns (R-Nebraska), Jon Kyl (R-Arizona), Mel Martinez (R-Florida), Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kansas).

“Now is not the time for rhetoric,” said Senator DeMint. “North Korea’s provocative actions must have immediate consequences. Removing North Korea from the list of terrorism sponsors has been a disaster and Kim Jong Il has exploited the move by accessing previously frozen funds to enable his ambitious pursuit of nuclear weapons. His regime has never stopped supporting terrorism or joined meaningful negotiations that President Bush hoped for when he de-listed them. In fact, North Korea has done just the opposite and moved closer to equipping terrorists with nuclear weapons.”

“In the past two weeks, North Korea has threatened the security of the United States and the entire Pacific region. They have tested a nuclear weapon, fired multiple missiles, and are currently preparing a ballistic missile that could reach Hawaii or Alaska. And if they sell this technology, as they have done in the past, terrorist groups will finally have access to nuclear weapons to wreak havoc on free nations,” said Senator DeMint.

President Bush removed North Korea from the list in exchange for their commitment to abandon their nuclear weapons program and submit to verifications. However, North Korea has repeatedly violated this agreement and two weeks ago tested a nuclear weapon. They have admitted to selling weapons to terrorist organizations and ballistic missile technology to nations who sponsor terrorism in violation of international law. Our laws demand their return to the list.

Yesterday, Senator DeMint and seven other senators asked Secretary Clinton to immediately place North Korea back on the State-Sponsor of Terrorism List. Read the letter here.

Recent Events:

• In October of 2008, President Bush removed North Korea from the list of State-Sponsors of Terrorism as an incentive with Pyongyang to entice them into abandoning their nuclear weapons program.

• Removing North Korea from the list has released funds that were frozen in 2001 and enabled ambitious pursuit of nuclear weapons and proliferation of weapons technology to other State-Sponsors of terrorism.

• North Korea has supported and continues to support acts of international terrorism and provided ballistic missile technology to Syria and Iran—who actively support terrorist organizations.

• February 2009, North Korea launched a Taepodong-2 inter-continental ballistic missile

• April 2009, North Korea withdrew from the 6-Party Talks and announced reprocessing of spent fuel rods in violation of international law

• May 2009, North Korea successfully detonated a nuclear weapon, launched multiple missiles, and withdrew from 1953 Armistice ending the Korean War

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