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Banking Committee Advances North Korea Sanctions Bill

Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, led by Chairman Mike Crapo, advanced the “Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea Act of 2017.” The bill is titled in honor of Ohioan Otto Warmbier, who lost his life after being held prisoner by the North Korean regime.

The bill, as amended, was passed unanimously by the Banking Committee. 

“The time has come for the U.S. to take the lead to ensure that all nations work together to isolate the Kim regime until it has no choice but to change its dangerous, belligerent behavior,” said Chairman Crapo. 

A North Korea armed with nuclear weapons presents an existential threat to several of its Asian neighbors, as well as a great danger to American citizens. The “Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea Act of 2017” will expand and strengthen current U.S. sanctions on North Korea, further restricting the Kim regime’s ability to sustain its advancing nuclear weapons capability and continued missile testing. 

Highlights of the legislation include measures to: 

  • Strengthen and expand U.S. sanctions on North Korea and its financial facilitators and supporters;
  • Strengthen Congressional oversight of North Korea sanctions;
  • Allow states and local governments to divest from, or prohibit investment in, companies that engage in certain defined investment activity in North Korea;
  • Strengthen Treasury’s role in combating human trafficking.  

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