GOP senator wants North Korea links to Iran disclosed

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.

{mosads}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 Graham (R-S.C.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) with a bill from Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.).

Tags Cory Gardner Lindsey Graham Robert Menendez

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