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Shaheen Applauds Senate Passage of North Korean Sanctions Legislation That Includes Her Amendment to Protect Efforts to Recover Remains of American Servicemembers

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen voted for the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016, which passed the Senate today by a vote of 96-0. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen successfully amended the legislation in committee to protect efforts to recover the remains of American servicemembers in North Korea.

"The United States must make it clear to Kim Jung Un’s regime that their belligerent behavior will not go unanswered," said Shaheen. "I'm pleased the Senate has acted quickly and in a bipartisan way to apply pressure to North Korea's government and counter their efforts to destabilize the region."

The legislation would strengthen and expand existing U.S. sanctions on those who support North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and would also impose penalties on those who are responsible for human rights abuses in North Korea.  Sanctions against North Koreans who engage in cyberattacks are also made permanent by this legislation. 

Regarding her amendment, Shaheen added: “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. 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.”    

Shaheen introduced her amendment after the Coalition of Families of Korean and Cold War POW/MIA’s, based in Portsmouth, NH, voiced its concern that the bill could unintentionally hamper the North Korea POW/MIA Accounting Mission. The amendment exempts from the bill’s enhanced sanctions any activities conducted by federal or nongovernmental organizations related to the identification or recovery of servicemember remains. The amendment can be viewed here.