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February 18, 2016

U.S. House, Senate Pass Bill Strengthening U.S. Sanctions on N. Korea

On February 10, 2016, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016, an amended version of the House bill passed last month, to strengthen the enforcement of sanctions against North Korea. The bill imposes additional enforcement and reporting obligations on the President and targets North Korea’s ability to access the global financial system, particularly for the purpose of carrying out its illicit activities, which include the development and testing of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. In the bill, Congress also expresses concern regarding North Korea’s involvement in money laundering, human rights abuses, and activities that undermine U.S. cybersecurity, stating that these activities, together with North Korea’s involvement in nuclear proliferation, pose a grave threat to the interests of the U.S. and its allies. The proposed legislation calls for additional mandatory sanctions on individuals and entities, including financial institutions, that knowingly, directly or indirectly, engage in trade or financial transactions that support such activities.

The bill was presented to the President on February 12, 2016.