Hagerty, Rubio Urge Biden Administration to Enforce Mandatory Sanctions on North Korea

Government and Politics

September 28, 2022

Hagerty, Rubio Urge Biden Administration to Enforce Mandatory Sanctions on North Korea

TOKYO, JAPAN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking and Foreign Relations Committees, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen urging them to enforce mandatory sanctions on North Korea.

Kim Jong Un’s regime in North Korea is forcing thousands of North Korean information technology (IT) workers to seek employment internationally in order to generate new revenue for the regime, which confiscates as much as 90 percent of their salaries. The regime is also aiding Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. Both North Korea’s forced labor operations and its assistance in Putin’s war on Ukraine constitute sanctionable activity under the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act (P.L. 114-122).

“As you are well aware, mandatory sanctions require the President to designate any person who: (1) knowingly, directly or indirectly, engages in, facilitates, or is responsible for the employment of North Korean workers; and (2) knowingly, directly or indirectly, imports, exports, or reexports to, into, or from North Korea any arms or related materiel,” the Senators wrote.

“We urge you to impose sanctions on any company, individual, or financial institution that is involved in hiring North Korean forced laborers – including IT workers and workers in the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine – and is involved in the transfer of military items from North Korea to Russia,” the Senators continued. “We also request an update on the administration’s enforcement of these mandatory sanctions.” 

“We urge you to review the practices of websites, including LinkedIn and Indeed, which continue to host fraudulent user profiles of North Korean IT workers, to determine if there are sufficient safeguards in place to prevent American companies from employing North Korean forced laborers through these websites,” the Senators concluded.

A copy of the letter can be found here.