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Congressman Boyle Reintroduces Bill to Prohibit Lifting North Korea Sanctions Absent Human Rights Progress

February 26, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, as President Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un approaches, Congressman Brendan F. Boyle (PA-02) reintroduced his bill prohibiting President Trump from lifting economic sanctions on North Korea absent certification that it is improving its appalling human rights record. The legislation aims to strengthen the diplomatic hand of American negotiators to allow – and require – them to raise these issues during negotiations. Congressman Boyle released the following statement upon the introduction:

“There is compelling evidence that the Kim regime runs political prison camps and commits torture, abductions, and forced abortion, among other crimes. Transparency on human rights, coupled with clear details on verification, must be part of any negotiation. America is stronger when we speak with our values, especially when dealing with an authoritarian regime like North Korea. Human rights must always be a core tenet of American foreign policy. We must be steadfast and consistent in the principles that truly make America great.

President Trump claims ‘there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea,’ but he has accomplished little more than a pinkie-swear with Kim Jung Un. In fact, he downplayed Kim’s human rights atrocities during the Singapore summit, and referred to the North Korean leader as ‘smart’ and beloved by his people. Such impulsiveness and apparent willingness to ignore human rights issues demands a stronger oversight role from Congress. We must not allow any president to compromise our core values for the sake of reaching any deal. Our core values are not negotiable.”

Congressman Boyle’s bill would provide a multipronged approach to balancing the priorities of denuclearization with proactively addressing the gaping human rights void in North Korea. Boyle has been a consistent and outspoken proponent of principled U.S. leadership on matters of human rights across the globe; from Iran to Syria and North Korea.