Congress Slams NKorea Test, Seeks More Sanctions

North Korea flag SC Congress slams NKorea test, seeks more sanctions

WASHINGTON — Congress is weighing in on international condemnation of North Korea’s nuclear test, and Republicans are calling on the Obama administration to revamp its policy and take a tougher stance against Pyongyang.

The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution Friday by a 412-to-2 vote, calling for the U.S. to work with other countries to impose additional sanctions on North Korea. It also urged China to pressure the North to curtail its nuclear and missile programs and prevent the transshipment of technology that could be used for those programs through Chinese territory.

Washington is currently negotiating in the U.N. Security Council for stronger sanctions against Pyongyang after the council quickly condemned Tuesday’s underground atomic blast, the third conducted by the North since 2006. The North said it was responding to what it called a U.S. threat and has warned of further, unspecified measures of “greater intensity” if Washington remains hostile — possibly signaling further tests if sanctions are tightened further.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Friday that more provocation, like another nuclear test, would only further isolate the North.

“In the face of this aggression, Congress and the American people, Democrats and Republicans alike, will remain vigilant in punishing the North Korean regime and strengthening cooperation with our allies South Korea and Japan,” said Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the ranking Democrat on the House panel that oversees foreign policy.

Read more at Official Wire. By Matthew Pennington.

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