Boston (October 3, 2019) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after media reports indicated that North Korea successfully tested a new submarine-launched ballistic missile. North Korea had not launched a missile capable of this extended range since 2017 and appears to be applying lessons learned from shorter-range tests to new weapons. Senators Markey and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) recently introduced the Leverage to Enhance Effective Diplomacy (LEED) Act, comprehensive bipartisan legislation to economically and diplomatically pressure North Korea and its enablers through sanctions; to authorize efforts to combat Pyongyang’s widespread human rights and labor trafficking abuses; and to support the administration’s efforts to find a diplomatic solution to achieve the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the North Korea regime.


“As North Korea shows it can conduct underwater launches of nuclear-capable missiles, the Trump administration is lost at sea,” said Senator Markey. “President Trump’s so-called strategy for North Korean denuclearization has accomplished little, while the United States and our allies face an advancing North Korean nuclear arsenal. Kim Jong Un continues to rapidly expand his nuclear weapons programs, emboldened by President Trump’s repeated green-lighting of North Korean missile tests and his own unwillingness to enforce UN and U.S. sanctions.


“Instead of empowering American diplomats ahead of this weekend’s much needed working-level talks, Trump’s enabling of Kim Jong Un’s belligerence has put our negotiators in an even more difficult situation. We need to work towards bringing about meaningful and verifiable steps toward denuclearization, as well as an end to its egregious human rights violations and cyberattacks.”