Washington (October 3, 2017) – Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity, introduced comprehensive bipartisan legislation to economically and diplomatically pressure North Korea and its enablers, and authorize efforts to combat Pyongyang’s widespread human rights and labor trafficking abuses, to support and enhance efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the threat of North Korea’s accelerating development of nuclear weapons and the missiles that deliver them. The legislation titled, the Leverage to Enhance Effective Diplomacy Act of 2017, expands on sanctions legislation introduced earlier this year by Gardner and Markey.
“There is no military solution to the threat of a nuclear North Korea,” said Markey. “While the effort to economically and politically isolate North Korea will be essential for a diplomatic strategy to succeed, we must also recognize that pressure, without diplomatic engagement, will quickly become counterproductive. Our diplomatic strategy must combine economic pressure with talks to convince Kim Jong-un that the United States is not the threat he believes us to be and that he does not require nuclear weapons to survive.”
“The Administration has taken positive steps in recent weeks to impose additional sanctions and working with governments to diplomatically isolate this heinous regime.” said Gardner. “Senator Markey and I are going to continue working in a bipartisan manner to give nations and companies a clear choice – do business with the United States or do business with North Korea. This legislation will give the Administration the needed additional tools to peacefully denuclearize the North Korean regime.”
Leverage to Enhance Effective Diplomacy Act of 2017:
Financial Sanctions

  • Requires the President to block all transactions that are property of the North Korean government, affiliates, or those that conduct significant business activities with North Korea.
  • Requires the President to block any entity or financial institution implicated in any significant trade in goods or services with North Korea from the U.S. financial system. Entities include the top 10 companies doing business with North Korea.
  • Requires the President to produce a strategy to end North Korean labor trafficking practices around the world.

Human Rights Support

  • Reauthorizes the North Korea Human Rights Act of 2004 for 5 years, which includes support for broadcasting and human rights/democracy activities.

North Korea Policy Review

  • Requires a strategy to address the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by North Korea.
  • Requires a Congressional briefing no later than 30 days following any U.S. official diplomatic engagement with North Korea.
  • Requires a report on U.S. citizens currently detained in North Korea.
  • Requires report regarding the use and strategy to end the procurement of certain rocket fuels by North Korea.

North Korea Isolation Strategy

  • Requires a global strategy to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea and to produce a list of countries the Secretary of State considers non-cooperative in such isolations efforts.
  • Authorizes downgrading U.S. relations with any country that fail to take measures to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea. 
  • Authorizes reducing or terminating U.S. assistance to any countries that fail to take measures to diplomatically and economically isolate North Korea.