WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement in response to North Korea’s satellite launch today and about an upcoming vote in the Senate on the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, H.R. 757:
"The continued actions by Kim Jong Un and North Korea threaten not just the Korean Peninsula but the entire Asia-Pacific region as well as the national security of the United States and its allies. Kim Jong Un has been emboldened by the retreat of U.S. leadership around the globe and the president’s lack of assertiveness when faced with dangers posed by Russia, Syria, Iran and ISIL.
"Congress is set to send a strong signal this week to North Korea that their aggression will not be tolerated. I look forward to debating and ultimately passing the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act to toughen sanctions against this rogue state. It is also time for a new administration. Our missile defense capabilities have failed to keep pace with threats that are growing in number and complexity. Time is not on our side, and our nation needs new leadership that is committed to rebuilding our military and responsibly investing and modernizing our nation’s missile defense."
North Korea launched a satellite into space today in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. U.S. officials said the same type of rocket used for today's launch could be used to deliver a nuclear warhead. The U.S., South Korea, Japan, China, Russia, Britain, France, the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) condemned the launch. An emergency U.N. Security Council meeting was convened today at 11:00 a.m. in New York to discuss a potential international response.
On Jan. 12, the House passed its version of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act, H.R. 757, by a vote of 418-2. On Jan. 28, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed its version of this bill out of committee by voice vote, without recorded opposition. The Senate plans to consider this bill on Wednesday.