Feb 10 2016
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today delivered remarks on the Senate floor in support of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enforcement Act of 2016.
“I think we all judge world leaders based on their actions and stated intentions,” Feinstein said, “To me, there is no question that Mr. Kim’s intentions are adverse to the well-being of the United States. As a citizen of the western United States, and a Senator representing nearly 40 million people in California, this is all very alarming to me, and it should alarm the world. If you take stock of North Korea’s recent actions and their capabilities, the cause for concern is apparent.”
Feinstein’s full remarks are below:
“Senator Corker, I want you to know I fully support your committee’s recommendation and believe the time has come to enforce and place sanctions against North Korea.
I think we all judge world leaders based on their actions and stated intentions. To me, there is no question that Mr. Kim’s intentions are adverse to the well-being of the United States.
As a citizen of the western United States, and a Senator representing nearly 40 million people in California, this is all very alarming to me, and it should alarm the world.
If you take stock of North Korea’s recent actions and their capabilities, the cause for concern is apparent.
On January 6th of this year, North Korea detonated its fourth nuclear device. Regardless if it was a hydrogen bomb or not, Mr. Kim’s intention is clear: he seeks a nuclear arsenal.
Unfortunately, the measures the international community have adopted to date have been insufficient to stop him.
The North Koreans first detonated a device in October 2006, which had an estimated yield of less than 1 kiloton.
In May of ‘09, they detonated a second device, roughly 2 kilotons.
In February 2013, they detonated a third device, 6-7 kilotons.
And the one this year was the fourth. I would not be surprised if their most recent test had a greater yield than the last.
Not only have North Korean weapons become more lethal, but their stockpile has likely increased over time.
According to a February 2015 analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, North Korea had between 15 and 22 nuclear weapons, and they had that at the end of 2014, and they could have between 20 and 100 nuclear weapons by 2020.
Mr. President, that‘s deeply troubling, especially as North Korea continues to make advances in their missile programs.
Again, experts at the Institute for Science and International Security have warned that North Korea likely has the capability to mount a nuclear warhead on its medium-range missiles.
Most of Japan and all of South Korea, which each host tens of thousands of United States military and civilian personnel, are easily in range.
And just this past weekend, they again tested an ICBM under the guise of a placing a satellite in space. According to various reports, North Korea tested a three-stage, likely Taepodong-2 rocket, which in fact did place a satellite into orbit.
Again, to me, the intention is clear: they want to build a missile capable of reaching the United States.
An ICBM on a launch pad is vulnerable to attack.
So to evade this vulnerability, North Korea appears to also be developing a road-mobile ICBM – the KN-08, which can reach the United States, it is estimated.
In April of this past year Adm. Bill Gortney, the head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), said that, “We assess that it [the KN08] is operational today,” and that the mobile nature of the KN08 makes it a difficult target.
And Gortney also said that, “Our assessment is that they [the North Koreans] have the ability to put a nuclear weapon on a KN-08 and shoot it at the [U.S.] homeland.”
Mr. President, it’s not just the nuclear weapons and missile program that gives me pause.
In the last several years North Korea has committed highly provocative acts.
North Korea chose to sink a South Korean naval vessel in 2010, killing 46 sailors.
It has shelled South Korean islands and planted mines along the DMZ that maimed South Korean soldiers.
It has undertaken sophisticated cyber-attacks against United States companies – such as Sony Pictures – and South Koreans banks.
Previously, North Korea walked away from the 1994 Agreed Framework and withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Most recently, it has repeatedly flouted UN Security Council Resolutions and proliferated weapons of mass destruction technologies.
With respect to its own human rights record, last year’s United Nations Human Rights report makes clear that North Korea’s leaders should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity.
The United Nations has found that North Korea is committing systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations against its own people
The regime selectively distributes food to privileged individuals, and routinely uses starvation to punish dissent.
Torture, forced disappearances, and inhumane detention conditions are routine. In the past, the regime even jailed three generations of dissidents on the concept of guilt by association.
In its prison camps alone, the United Nations estimates that hundreds of thousands of dissidents have died.
Mr. President, one anecdote from the UN’s report, I think demonstrates the total and diabolical suffering put upon the North Korean people under this regime.
Ordinary Koreans must go to extraordinary lengths to survive, including prostitution, theft and smuggling.
A UN investigator was told of an instance when a woman was pulled off a train with a dead, small child, no more than two years old, strapped to her back.
State security suspected the woman was smuggling copper, but could find no evidence. After some time interrogating the woman, they asked her to place her child on a desk before them. The woman then broke down and began to cry.
When she finally placed the quiet, dead child on the desk, the officials noticed its stomach was red. They then opened the child’s stomach and found about two kilograms of copper inside.
To survive, this woman was forced to smuggle copper in her own dead child’s stomach. No mother anywhere on Earth should be forced to such extremes.
Mr. President, when it comes to the international response to North Korea and its provocative behavior, I very much regret that China has not seen fit to do more.
In my view, China, in its size and capability, has the ability to reign in North Korea, and probably the only country in the region that can do so.
North Korea’s nuclear test facilities are close to China’s border. Just like Japan and South Korea, China’s security is threatened by an unstable, nuclear power in its neighborhood.
Yet, China continues to provide the fuel, food, trade and international protection that sustains Mr. Kim’s government.
In my meetings with China’s Ambassador Cui here in Washington, D.C., I’ve expressed to him that China can and must do more.
I have tried to impress upon him that a nuclear-armed North Korea with ever-increasing weapons is not in China’s security interest.
Mr. President, the United States can’t sit in silence in the face of North Korea’s ever-advancing nuclear and missile program.
For some, Iran has been a big theat. For me, reading the intelligence, and seeing the progress over the years of North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, I believe North Korea is a very serious threat to the well-being of this country.
And we must protect our allies in the region. That may include placing more advanced missile defenses both in South Korea and Japan, as well as closer trilateral military cooperation with these countries.
The fact that the North Korean government has resisted international overtures and condemnation leaves us little choice.
So, Mr. President, I come here today to support the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enforcement Act of 2016. This bill will impose mandatory sanctions against North Korean persons and entities involved in: weapons of mass destruction development, delivery and proliferation; serious human rights abuses; trade in luxury goods; money laundering; smuggling; and narcotics trafficking.
This legislation alone, though, will not cease North Korea’s illegal activities.
However, it is a beginning of a more comprehensive response to North Korea’s increasingly dangerous behavior.”