The security situation on the Korean peninsula is dire and worsening. It prompted the House Foreign Affairs Committee to convene a hearing to discuss ways Congress can address an increasingly belligerent North Korea.
Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., the committee’s vice chairman, called on Heritage Foundation expert Bruce Klingner as a witnesses to testify. The hearing, “Pressuring North Korea: Evaluating Options,” took place March 21 on Capitol Hill.
Klingner spent 20 years serving the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency before joining The Heritage Foundation, where he is a senior research fellow with a focus on Northeast Asia.
In his opening statement, Klingner told the committee, “Washington must sharpen the choice for North Korea by raising the risk and cost for its actions as well as for those, particularly Beijing, who have been willing to facilitate the regime’s prohibited programs and illicit activities and condone its human rights violations.”
Klingner explained to lawmaker why it is more important to implement existing United Nations measures accompanied with U.S. laws than to set new sanctions.
“We must approach sanctions, pressure, and isolation in a sustained and comprehensive way. It is a policy of a slow python constriction rather than a rapid cobra strike,” he said. “The reality is that we are seeking to create conditions for bringing about a change in the regime while engaging in a long-term containment policy.”
Klingner said the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act was a step in the right direction.
“North Korea must feel unbearable pain from sanctions to the point that it sees regime existence is under threat,” he said.
Heritage Foundation experts frequently testify on Capitol Hill at hearings concerning the most pressing public policy issues.