The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a resolution condemning
"hostile behavior" by North Korea and giving full support to the Obama
administration in dealing with Pyongyang. A symbolic "sense of Congress"
resolution also reaffirms the U.S. strategic alliance with South Korea, whose
president will meet with members of Congress on Tuesday.
The resolution calls on North Korea to immediately stop "hostile rhetoric and
activity" toward South Korea, and engage in what it calls mutual dialogue to
enhance inter-Korean relations.
Listing a series of actions by Pyongyang in recent months and years,
including nuclear weapons tests and ballistic missile launches, lawmakers said
North Korea's actions threaten peace and stability in Northeast Asia and
Impatience and concern was reflected in remarks by the sponsor of the
resolution, Republican Peter King, who said the resolution places Congress on
record in support of steps the Obama administration must take to respond to
"provocative and aggressive" actions by Pyongyang . . .
"To stand up to this really blatant aggression, I believe, by North Korea and
[send] a message to Kim Jong Il -- whether it is him or his son, no matter who
ends up controlling and calling the shots in North Korea -- that it will be met
with concerted action from the U.S, and also call on countries such as China to
start doing what they should be doing and to reassure our allies such as Japan
and Taiwan that the U.S. will do all it can to prevent and stop North Korea from
becoming a nuclear power," he said.
While saying that the United States must continue efforts at constructive
dialogue, King said "everything should be on the table" regarding potential
responses to actions by Pyongyang that might create a situation in Asia that
could "spiral out of control."
Stating that North Korea is will not achieve a different relationship with
the United States "while insulting and refusing dialogue with [South Korea],"
the resolution says Pyongyang has refused proposals from Seoul for mutual
dialogue, and refused to fully implement six-party agreements on
Democrat Eni Faleomavaega heads the House Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific,
and Global Environment. "These startling events have unquestionably precipitated
the necessity of unified congressional response to North Korea's hostile acts,
while also sending a message of strong solidarity and support to our close
friend and ally, the Republic of Korea," he said.
Saying North Korea has "dropped the pretense" of being willing to negotiate
away its nuclear program, Republican Representative Ed Royce asserted that a
resolution recently approved by the U.N. Security Council was a "watered down
response" to North Korean actions.
The United States, added Royce, must take even stronger actions to isolate
the communist state and block any new proliferation activities. "Frankly, we
have come to a conclusion. And the conclusion for me, and I have followed this
issue for many years, is that the U.S. can achieve an awful lot by deploying
measures to further undercut North Korea's economy and to target its
proliferation activities," he said.
House lawmakers called on North Korea to verifiably abandon all of its
nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, and return to the Nuclear
They urged Pyongyang to comply fully with Resolution 1718, which was approved
by the U.N. Security Council in 2006 after North Korea's first nuclear test and
called on Pyongyang to refrain from further tests and missile launches.
Approval of the resolution comes ahead of talks at the White House on Tuesday
between visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and President Barack
The South Korean leader will go to Capitol Hill on Tuesday for meetings with
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress.