Tougher North Korean sanctions demanded by GOP after 'vile stunt'

Republican leaders on the House Foreign Affairs Committee pushed for passage of tougher sanctions after North Korea released a video showing the destruction of a U.S. city.

“It’s time to get serious about a North Korea regime committed to developing nuclear weapons and missiles at all costs and threatening the U.S.,” Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) told The Hill in an e-mail. “We need tougher sanctions now.”

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the former panel leader, called a “tasteless and vile stunt” that “illustrates Pyongyang’s hostile intentions and its willingness to undermine U.S. national security interests.”

“I continue to urge the Obama administration to impose stronger penalties against the North Korean dictatorship,” she said, “and to support our South Korean and Japanese allies who face this threat at every turn.”

Ros-Lehtinen is the author of legislation toughening sanctions on North Korea and calling on President Obama to redesignate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Royce has co-sponsored both bills.

The video shows a dream sequence of a young man boarding a space shuttle with the North Korean flag to the soundtrack of 'We Are the World'. It was uploaded on You Tube over the weekend by a user that distributes the communist country's propaganda.

“A long time the world disrespected us and laughed about our leaders. That time is over now. The moment of revenge has come,” the video says, according to an unofficial translation posted on You Tube. “Since we have nuclear weapons the world won’t laugh anymore. It’s only a question of time.”

The video was taken down Tuesday after the video game company Activision objected to the use of the attack sequence from its Modern Warfare 3 game.