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GOP senator calls on Trump to 'ratchet up pressure' on North Korea

GOP senator calls on Trump to 'ratchet up pressure' on North Korea

Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 MORE (R-Colo.) is calling on President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKushner lands book deal, slated for release in 2022 Biden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal Progressives rave over Harrison's start at DNC MORE to make North Korea a top priority when he assumes office this month.

In an op-ed published by CNN on Monday, Gardner called on the incoming Trump administration to continue with the "full implementation" and enforcement of the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act.

"In particular, I urge the new administration to utilize the so-called 'secondary sanctions,' which target outside entities, or companies, that help Pyongyang engage in illicit behavior," Gardner wrote.

"Many of these companies are based in the People's Republic of China, and the US must not be afraid to anger Beijing by going after them," he added.

Gardner said "it is imperative that the next administration not only ratchet up pressure on the regime, but that it work with Congress, the international community and our allies in the region to counter North Korean aggression."

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The GOP senator's editorial comes a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Pyongyang plans to test an intercontinental ballistic missile for the first time, according to The New York Times.

Gardner on Monday slammed "the Obama administration's failed policy of 'strategic patience'" toward North Korea, referencing the country's cyber attacks and number of missile warheads as cause for concern.

He also said it is “impossible to know” if China, an ally of North Korea, complies with U.N. Security Council resolutions on Pyongyang.

“That is why I urge the Trump administration to immediately pursue and implement a full range of economic and criminal unilateral sanctions on any entity that violates North Korea sanctions,” he wrote.

“Our message must be clear: if you do business with Pyongyang, you will face the full wrath of the US economic sanctions regime.”

While Gardner emphasized the importance of sanctions, he also said the U.S. must “reassure our allies” that it will support them diplomatically and militarily should they face North Korean aggression.

“Through a policy of strength, the incoming Trump administration should seize the immediate opportunity to communicate with action to Kim Jong Un as well as our allies that the United States remains committed to standing up to tyrants and ensuring peace and stability around the globe,” he wrote.