As Senate Considers North Korean Sanctions Bill, Shaheen Successfully Adds Amendment that Preserves Efforts to Recover Servicemember Remains
**Legislative change was inspired by New Hampshire POW/MIA organization**
**This amended legislation is expected to pass Congress and be signed into law by President Obama**
(Washington, DC) – Today in a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) successfully amended North Korea sanctions legislation to protect efforts to recover the remains of American servicemembers in North Korea. Senator Shaheen introduced the amendment after the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIA’s, based in Portsmouth, voiced its concern that the bill could unintentionally hamper the North Korea POW/MIA Accounting Mission. The North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016, which strengthens sanctions against North Korea following a recent fourth nuclear test, is expected to be overwhelmingly approved by the full Senate in the coming weeks and sent to the President’s desk.
“It’s been over 60 years since the Korean War ended, but the mission of bringing home every fallen American soldier is not yet finished,” said Shaheen. “Organizations like the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIA’s have never forgotten our solemn duty to these soldiers and the families they left behind. Thanks to our joint effort this legislation appropriately punishes Kim Jung Un’s regime without interfering with these important recovery efforts.”
"Accounting for America’s missing servicemen is a humanitarian mission that should not be undermined by international tensions,” said Donna Knox, Legislative Liaison for the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIAs. “Congressional efforts to ensure the integrity of the Accounting Mission are an important step in keeping the promise this country made, and continues to make, to its service personnel. We commend the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and in particular Senator Shaheen, for their recognition of this important issue."
Specifically, Senator Shaheen’s amendment exempts any activities conducted by federal or nongovernmental organizations related to the identification or recovery of servicemember remains from the bill’s enhanced sanctions. The amendment can be viewed here.