Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman and the ranking member, Mr. SHERMAN, for his cosponsorship of this legislation. Mr. Speaker, North Korea was on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list for 20 years. It was taken off in 2008 for purely diplomatic reasons. North Korea agreed to freeze and disable its nuclear program as the result of international efforts known as the Six-Party Talks.
In exchange, the United States decided to remove North Korea from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list. Fast forward 9 years later, North Korea remains off the list while it races toward the capability to send a nuclear warhead to American shores.
There has been no secret about this. Little Kim has said he wants to send intercontinental ballistic missiles to the United States. North Korea has conducted four nuclear tests since 2008. Recent satellite images suggest that it is preparing for yet another nuclear test.
North Korea is also doing all the things that got it placed on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list in the first place. North Korea harbored Japanese Red Army terrorists who participated in the hijacking of a jet in 1970. These terrorists are still living happily in North Korea today.
Press reports suggests that little Kim is even arming and training Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists. A U.S. district court actually found in 2014 that North Korea materially supported terrorist attacks by Hezbollah against Israel.
North Korea has also moved toward a new form of terrorism: cyber warfare. We all remember the 2014 North Korea cyber attack against Sony Pictures that included direct threats against its employees and a warning to ‘‘Remember the 11th of September 2001.’’ In March of 2015, North Korea launched a cyber attack against nuclear power plants in South Korea.
North Korea is not just active over cyber. It has a long history of actually killing folks, dissidents in particular, all over the world. In February, North Korean agents killed little Kim’s half brother in Malaysia using a chemical VX nerve agent. North Korea has helped Assad develop chemical weapons. Thankfully, Israel took out those chemical weapons some time ago.
Mr. Speaker, North Korea’s actions have not gotten any better. They have only become more dangerous and more treacherous. In addition, North Korea is working with Iran, the world’s number one state sponsor of terror, on developing nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles. It is clear that North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism.
At the very least, the State Department should go back to the drawing board and assess whether or not North Korea meets the criteria for designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. And that is what this bill does, H.R. 479, the North Korea State Sponsor of Terrorism Designation Act. It is high time we call out little Kim, the loose cannon of East Asia, for what he is: a terrorist in a terrorist state.
And that is just the way it is.