Calls on Trump administration to launch urgent shuttle diplomacy to resolve crisis

Washington (September 3, 2017) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), top Democrat on the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on the Trump administration to launch high-level shuttle diplomacy to bring the United States, China, Russia, and other major world powers together in a unified strategy under the auspices of the United Nations to deescalate tensions and start discussions to freeze any further North Korean nuclear and ballistic missile testing. As part of such a strategy, Senator Markey is urging the international community to offer the North Korean government tangible assurances that it will not face outside attack, but that without a testing freeze, North Korea will face crushing new international sanctions, including cutting off the import of all oil products to North Korea; requiring the dissolution of all existing business partnerships between North Korea the rest of the world; prohibiting all export of slave labor from North Korea to other countries and cut off the revenues they generate for the Kim Regime, prohibiting the import of all luxury goods into North Korea; and prohibiting the export of all textiles from North Korea to other countries.
“We must exhaust every available diplomatic option to deescalate tensions and negotiate an end to the North Korea nuclear threat before it erupts into a catastrophic war,” said Senator Markey. “Now is the time for Secretary Tillerson to begin an urgent campaign of shuttle diplomacy to bring China, Russia, and the entire community of nations together in a unified diplomatic strategy under the auspices of the United Nations.
“The international community must apply the kind of crushing economic pressure required to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table, including starving the country of oil and other economic supports that allow it to continue its missile programs. But we must also be willing to take measures to assure North Korea that our military forces are in the region only to deter and defend against aggression, not to attack or depose the North Korean regime. As soon as North Korea agrees to a freeze of its missile and nuclear testing, we and our South Korean allies should continue direct negotiations with Pyongyang.”
Senator Markey led a Congressional delegation to Seoul, Tokyo, and the North Korea-China border in August, where it was the first foreign group to receive a briefing from Chinese customs officials who enforce sanctions at the border.