WASHINGTON – Today, Congressmen Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) and Francis Rooney (FL-19) introduced the bi-partisan North Korea Ballistic Missile Investigations Act.
Said Congressman Gottheimer, “To be clear, North Korea’s illegal nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) programs and its cooperation with Russia, China, and Iran pose a grave threat to the United States and our allies on the Korean Peninsula, the region, and around the world. We must use every tool at our disposal – including maximum political, diplomatic, and financial pressure – to defuel Pyongyang and cut off Kim Jong-un’s access to this deadly propellant. This bipartisan, national security bill I’m introducing with my colleague, Rep. Francis Rooney, will ultimately help stop the flow of fuel and technology to North Korea from abroad.”
Congressman Rooney stated, “It is beyond time to defuel Kim Jong-Un and his rogue regime in North Korea. As the Korean missile crisis escalates, the United States must consider new methods to stop the aggressive nuclear program.
“The North Korea Ballistic Missile Investigations Act will require the Director of National Intelligence and the Secretary of State to investigate whether North Korea is obtaining unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH), or rocket fuel, engines, and parts from foreign countries. Reports suggest North Korea is using UDMH in their missile tests, and it is known that Russia and China are principal users of this fuel. These measures of accountability will further isolate the Kim regime by reducing its ability to receive foreign support, and de-escalate the threat of a missile attack on the United States.”
Last month, a bombshell report in the New York Times found that North Korea has acquired or produced the deadly fuel unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine (UDMH) — known in Russia as “the devil’s venom” — that is used to power intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of striking the continental United States. Reports also surfaced that North Korea tested a new solid fuel missile engine as recently as last week. This disturbing trend threatens the security of the region, especially when other international threats like Iran are involved.
Congressmen Rooney and Gottheimer introduced the bill in response to a New York Times report detailing North Korea’s use of UDMH and their possible procurement of the rocket fuel from Russia and China. The North Korea Ballistic Missile Investigations Act will:
Require the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of State to investigate the Kim regime’s procurement of rocket fuel and engines from foreign entities
Require a report to Congress within 105 days on North Korea’s internal capabilities to produce the fuel and engines, and on Russia and China’s role in assisting the Kim regime
Require the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of State to submit recommendations on improved implementation of the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, which was established to combat proliferation, including foreign procurement of liquid propellant engines such as the ones used by North Korea
As a member of the House Committee on Financial Service’s Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, Rep. Gottheimer cosponsored the Otto Warmbier North Korea Nuclear Sanctions Act, which passed the House yesterday.
Rep. Rooney and members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee recently urged Secretary Tillerson to re-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.