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Sen. Cory Gardner says keep pressure on North Korea with his sanctions

Author: Joey Bunch - August 9, 2017 - Updated: August 10, 2017

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North Korean sanctions
The North Korean government on July 29 shows what was said to be the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea said it will launch “thousands-fold” revenge against the United States over the adoption of tough U.N. sanctions. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

Colorado’s Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican from Yuma isn’t mincing words about the nuclear threat raised by North Korea: Use sanctions until it hurts the “rogue regime.”

“Our policy toward North Korea should be straight forward,” he said in a statement Wednesday afternoon. “We will deploy every economic, diplomatic and, if necessary, military tool to deter them.”

Gardner  chairs the Senate’s subcommittee on East Asia and the Pacific. His words were much more measured than the president’s on Tuesday.

“They will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.” President Trump said at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

North Korea escalated the rhetoric soon after, saying it could reach the U.S. military holdings in Guam with the intermediate-range missiles it first tested in May.

Gardner said Wednesday afternoon that he would continue to push sanction already allowed by U.S. law “in order to dramatically ramp up pressure that can bring Kim Jong Un to his senses and to stop what would be a dramatic loss of life on the Korean Peninsula and a direct threat to US military personnel stationed in the region.”

He said the U.S. can take on North Korea from a position of strength and to forge an alliance with China.

“China is responsible for 90 percent of North Korea’s trade, a tenfold increase in the last 15 years,” Gardner said. “It’s time to hold China accountable for their refusal to shut off trade with North Korea, and if they do not take the necessary steps to help us prevent a nuclear war, it must mean that business as usual is over between the United States and China.”

Gardner pointed to his North Korea Sanctions Policy and Enhancement Act, a sanction’s bill signed into law by President Obama last year.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.