Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Irey: On North Korea

Diana Irey issued this statement about the North Korean nuclear missile test:
"The North Korean dictatorship of Kim Jong Il, the world's last Stalinist regime, says it has tested a nuclear weapon, and may soon test another one. This action poses a grave threat to the security of not just our allies in South Korea and Japan, but to the world community itself, especially given the long-standing strategic partnership between North Korea and Iran.
"The time for decisive negotiation is at hand. But it is not negotiation under the auspices of the United Nations that must take place; North Korea's claim to have tested a nuclear device is itself a testament to the failure of those discussions. What are needed instead are tripartite talks between Washington, Beijing and Moscow. Beijing and Moscow have facilitated North Korea's missile technology and nuclear development, and it is time for them to abide by their international obligations and use their influence over Pyongyang to bring an end to North Korea's attempts to join the nuclear club.
"There are other things we can do while we wait for Beijing and Moscow to step up. The U.S. Government should take non-military actions now and over the longer term to bring about regime change in Pyongyang. Chief among the tools available are financial tools, for instance, the American Government could put in place sanctions that prohibit any U.S. company from doing business with North Korea. And American citizens themselves could divest their portfolios of stocks in any companies that do business with North Korea.
"I would note that on this issue, as on others, there seems to be a clear distinction between myself and my opponent. For instance, during the Clinton Administration, Jack Murtha voted against a bill that would have restricted American nuclear cooperation with North Korea until the Clinton Administration certified that North Korea was in compliance with international nuclear agreements, has ended its nuclear weapons program, and has allowed for independent verification of its nuclear sites.
And earlier this year, two measures were introduced in the House of Representatives, H. Con. Res. 432, calling on the Government of North Korea to cease all production of weapons of mass destruction, to cease proliferation of ballistic missiles, and to uphold its 1999 pledge to refrain from intercontinental ballistic missile testing; and H.R. 5805, to promote nuclear nonproliferation in North Korea. On neither of these measures was Jack Murtha's name found as a co-sponsor."
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