GOP senator wants North Korea links to Iran disclosed

GOP senator wants North Korea links to Iran disclosed
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Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) late Monday filed an amendment to a North Korea sanctions bill that would require the administration to disclose to Congress any cooperation between the rogue Asian nation and Iran on nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development. 

A House-passed version of the bill has a similar provision, but it was stripped out of the Senate version. The Senate is slated to take up the bill, called the North Korea Enforcement Sanctions Act, on Wednesday.

Congress took up the issue after North Korea said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb last month. On Saturday, the country conducted a missile launch that it claimed was to put a satellite into space for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. and allies suspect was a long-range missile test in violation of international law. 

Perdue and other members of Congress suspect that North Korea and Iran are cooperating and that the administration has been reluctant to disclose to Congress what it knows. 

“It’s undeniable that Iran and North Korea have been cooperating on nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development for years now," said Perdue, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a statement. 

"Iranians have reportedly been present for at least three of North Korea’s nuclear tests," he said. 

Perdue's amendment would require the administration to submit a semiannual report to Congress on North Korea's cooperation with Iran on nuclear weapon and ballistic missile testing, development and research.  

It would also require the administration to disclose to Congress the identity of individuals who have knowingly engaged in or directed material support or exchanged information between governments of Iran and North Korea for their nuclear programs.

"This amendment forces the Obama administration to disclose to Congress what it knows about this cooperation between rogue nations, instead of denying the linkages. The sooner we acknowledge this illicit cooperation, the sooner we can work to put it to a halt," Perdue said. 

The House bill passed last month requires the administration to sanction anyone involved with North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Penalties would include freezing assets under U.S. jurisdiction, banning individuals from traveling to the United States or blocking government contracts.

The bill passed out of the Foreign Relations Committee by a voice vote after lawmakers merged legislation from Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamOvernight Finance: Dems seek probe of acting SEC chief | Defense hawks say they won't back short-term funding | Senate seen as start point for Trump infrastructure plan | Dems want more money for IRS Overnight Defense: Pentagon considers more troops for Afghanistan | McCain, Graham won't back short-term funding | GOP defends Trump rules of engagement McCain and Graham: We won't back short-term government funding bill MORE (R-S.C.) and Robert MenendezRobert MenendezCorruption trial could roil NJ Senate race Steve Mnuchin, foreclosure king, now runs your US Treasury Senate Dems move to nix Trump's deportation order MORE (D-N.J.) with a bill from Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerPot state Dems want federal regulation of marijuana Lawmakers call for pilot program to test for energy sector vulnerabilities Overnight Cybersecurity: New questions for House Intel chair over WH visit | Cyber war debate heats up | Firm finds security flaws in 'panic buttons' MORE (R-Colo.).