The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Minnesota.
Ms. KLOBUCHAR. Madam President, today I join my colleagues in support of the North Korean Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act. I commend Senator Gardner for his leadership, as well as Senator Menendez, Chairman Corker, and Ranking Member Cardin for their leadership on this legislation, because protecting the American people and others in the region from national security threats like North Korea should, in fact, be our top priority.
The reason there is overwhelming bipartisan support for strong sanctions legislation against North Korea is because there is absolutely no doubt that North Korea is a well-established threat in the region. North Korea threatens global peace and security.
Last month North Korea claims to have tested a hydrogen bomb. While our analysts in the United States are skeptical that it was in fact a hydrogen bomb, it was a nuclear bomb all the same. With each test, North Korea gets closer to testing a nuclear bomb small enough to fit on a long-range missile--the very same kind of missile that North Korea used over the weekend to launch a satellite into outer space. That missile has a range of 5,600 miles. That means that Alaska, California, and the rest of the west coast of the United States is actually within range of a North Korean bomb. Our European allies and Australia are also within range of a North Korean bomb. And, of course, Japan and South Korea--two of our key allies in East Asia--are closest to the danger North Korea poses. It is in our national security interests to protect these vital allies.
It is not just North Korea's nuclear threat that we need to be concerned about. North Korea funds its weapons regime through human trafficking--something I care deeply about--through the production of illegal drugs and selling counterfeit U.S. currency. North Korea is also one of the largest suppliers of the arms trade and has become the bargain-basement emporium for old Soviet weapons systems. North Korea has a pattern of shipping these illegal weapons on to terrorists in the Middle East.
North Korea also threatens our cyber security. North Korea's cyber attack on the Sony Corporation of America in 2014, which leaked private communications and destroyed the company's data systems, cost Sony, an American company, more than $35 million. Why this company? Because the company produced a movie that mocked North Korea's leadership.
Last summer North Korea pledged to follow up on its attack on Sony with more cyber attacks, promising to ``wage a cyber war against the U.S. to hasten its ruin.''
America is not the only target for North Korea's cyber attacks. In 2013, North Korea launched a cyber attack on three major South Korean banks, and two of South Korea's largest broadcasters were temporarily shut down after a cyber attack. This cost South Korea an estimated $720 million. This is real money and real jobs in our own country and in the countries of our allies.
We must take strong action to curb North Korea's nuclear program and to address the other threats that it poses to us and our allies. Weak sanctions against North Korea have proven unsuccessful. The legislation before us today represents the tough response that is necessary to send this message directly to North Korean leaders: Disarm or face severe economic sanctions.
This bill puts pressure on North Korea in three important ways. First, it requires the President to investigate those that help North Korea import goods used to make weapons of mass destruction. All people and businesses involved in helping North Korea obtain illicit weapons would be banned from doing business with the United States and would have their assets and financial operations immediately frozen and their travel restricted.
As we work with our allies to track down and bring to justice those who assist North Korea in its effort to harm the United States and our allies, we must also hit them financially. This bill will help to cut off North Korea's funding and further financially isolate them.
Second, this bill sanctions those who attack U.S. cyber security. This bill is the first piece of legislation to lay out a framework for sanctions against the North Korean cyber threat. Combatting cyber terrorism is a key national security priority. We must be proactive about rooting out those who enable cyber attacks.
Lastly, this bill addresses a serious human rights crisis in North Korea. North Korea is the most isolated economy and society in the world. The current regime exerts total control over daily life. Even haircuts are controlled--that is right. Women are allowed to pick from 1 of 14 hairstyles, and men cannot grow their hair longer than 2 inches. Thirty-two percent of people in North Korea are undernourished, and 34 percent of the population receives food aid.
As a Member who has worked extensively to fight modern-day slavery, I am particularly disturbed by the fact that North Korea is also among the world's worst human traffickers. The State Department's annual report on human trafficking consistently rates North Korea as one of the worst human traffickers. The United Nations considers human trafficking to be one of the three largest criminal enterprises in the world. The first two are illegal drugs and illegal guns.
Last year I was proud to be the lead Democratic cosponsor of legislation with Senator John Cornyn to fight trafficking and help trafficking victims that was signed into law by President Obama last May. The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act tackles trafficking head-on. We are doing work in our own country, but we also need to be a beacon for those victims abroad.
Sex and labor traffickers treat North Korean men and women like commodities. Yemoni Park, a North Korean woman who escaped after being sold into the sex trade and raped at the age of 13, has dedicated her life to shining a light on what she calls ``the darkest place on Earth''--North Korea.
This bill calls for harsh sanctions against human rights violators. It calls for mandatory investigations into those who bankroll North Korean labor prisons and sex trafficking rings. But it also acknowledges the important work of human rights organizations that provide assistance to those suffering in North Korea and allows them to continue their lifesaving work.
China fuels much of the demand for North Korea's human trafficking, and they help fund the North Korean regime. Beyond enacting swift and severe sanctions against those associated with North Korea's weapons suppliers, hackers, and human rights violators, we must pressure China to get serious about sanctioning the North Korean regime. Unless we have China's help, the regime will not truly feel the repercussions of its actions.
We have come together today across party lines in a bipartisan effort to address the growing threat that North Korea poses to the United States and our allies. We are united in our belief that our national security--and the security of our allies--requires a swift and strong response to North Korea and those who fund its tyrants. We are also united in our belief that we must vigorously investigate and sanction those who in any way help North Korea develop weapons of mass destruction and those who seek to undermine cyber security.
We must do everything in our power to help improve the lives of innocent North Koreans. That is why I am supporting this bill, and I thank my colleagues for their leadership--Senator Menendez, Senator Gardner, SenatorCardin, and Senator Corker.