Last week, the Senate introduced the North Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act.

Heritage’s Olivia Enos, of the Asian Studies Center, had a heavy hand in drafting this legislation. She’s been working with Senate staff to research and write the bill since late last year.

When asked about the legislation Olivia stated:

Human rights challenges in North Korea is an issue near and dear to my heart. That there are still between 80,000 and 120,000 people held in political prison camps today is appalling.

I hope that this legislation provides North Koreans with the information they need to either stay in North Korea and facilitate change from within or flee the regime to freedom in South Korea or elsewhere.

She also released a piece in Forbes yesterday that describes the need for this bill in more detail.

According to a recent press release, Ted Cruz, one of the Senators who introduced the bill, explains more about it in the statement below:

The North Korean regime is a modern-day reign of terror. It not only threatens the lives of Americans, South Koreans, and Japanese, but it also terrorizes its own people. As with any totalitarian regime, however, it fears the truth…

The reauthorization of the North Korean Human Rights Act empowers the United States to shine a light into that darkened regime with the truth of liberty and the friendship that Americans feel for the people of North Korea.

Moreover, these programs provide us with avenues to reach North Koreans and shape their perceptions of us. These are nonnegotiable elements of our broader North Korean strategy, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass this bill and judiciously implement it.

What should the United States response be to the aggression of North Korea?

Comments (29)

glenn cronier - May 19, 2017

I believe we should use wisely all methods possible to make the U.S. safe from a missile being shot from north korea.

Cheryl Grosser - May 19, 2017

Find out who is financially supporting all of this insanity to America, the people who have to live there and the world.

Frank Feltham - May 19, 2017

Let General Mattis handle it.

Ralph Thomas Reed - May 19, 2017

Fly over North Korea dropping small pkgs of food that promote freedom. Have them land by parachute far enough apart for it to be impossible for the government to recover all of them.

robert baker - May 19, 2017

since previous presidential administrations have not responded appropriately then it is upon the current administration to strike n. korea most forcefully militarily

Albert (Alberto) Castro Jr - May 19, 2017

At some point the U.S. is going to have to take the necessary steps to stop this unstable N Korean regime. I say its time to fight fire with fire before their unstable leader nukes someone.

Charlotte J Kolzow - May 19, 2017

Thanks SO very much for the work you are doing for our nation!!!

Brenda - May 19, 2017

Pass and implement the bill. Ramp up intelligence in the area. Don’t play footsies with South Korean liberals, literally all of whom were born under the protection of the US military presence in South Korea. Give Mattis the free-hand he needs and the money he needs to upgrade our military to prohibitive strength. A strong US military is still the best peace-keeping force for America and our Allies. Don’t depend on Russia or China to rein in North Korea. Get more organizations like Samaritans purse on the ground in North Korea. Let that oppressed and starving people see for themselves that Americans are not quasi-military robotic monsters. Forget about exporting democracy, liberal Hollywood/Wall Street style. Export the value system of our Founding Fathers in face to face encounters by every possible means. And pray.

andy raWICZ - May 19, 2017

knock out their satelites surreptitiously

Al - May 19, 2017

Too much time and failure to obtain a satisfactory response from NOKO via the negotiations/sanctions of the past. We should attempt to get them to stop their nuclear program and accept U.S. periodic(and unscheduled) inspections to verify. We must be prepared to respond with military action to get their attention if they refuse. Can’t always prevent bad things from happening but we can try to ensure that NOKO isn’t able to hit America.

R. Huff - May 19, 2017

The efforts or significant lack thereof, by three past presidents have gotten us here. Nothing to be had for it, but this disaster is nothing new; just more sticky. China/Russia are enjoying themselves with this thorn in our side and beyond lip-service will do nothing. The NORK’s already have intermediate range missiles capable of hitting us in Guam and all points closer. We appear to have destruction capability of early launch and early decent destruction. We should use it on anything that leaves their air space. Nuke detonations, unless we want a full scale war, are out of our reach; unless we can pull an Iranian scramble on them. Options are few but we must hold on to the ones we have.

David B Goedde - May 19, 2017

Air Drop Samsung large window cell phones with satellite and free service, saturating all of North Korea. This will give North Koreans a glimpse of what the outside world looks like….

Terry Ruth - May 19, 2017

Luke 22:36 It is time.

Robert Small - May 19, 2017

Stay the course. Work with China and Russia to defang the beast.

David G. Holland - May 19, 2017

I think we should air drop cell phones and supply them with unlimited internet with instructions. Then let see for themselves from the world what the truth is and not just from their government.

j - May 19, 2017

Our military and defense systems must be up to date in order to stand firm.
The N. Korean leader is unstable But he is not solo, he has been molded by many around him.
“If my people…” are we willing to be the people of God? Then, He will guide us for the battle is His.
Unless we forget, China and other countries are not and have yet to be countries with respect and freedom for their people. N. Korea is not the only country oppressing and torturing and killing.

Deb Bamford - May 19, 2017

I am in full agreement with Olivia and thank her deeply for her commitment to end the totalitarian regime of North Korea; encouraging their oppressed population, letting them know America cares about them. I sincerely hope that Senator Cruz does indeed introduce the North Korean Human Rights Act bill; that it passes; human beings need hope in order to pursue freedom, the right for survival and a life of dignity. Fear of the unknown is what is driving the current regime; it is time for America to use wisdom/truth/inspiration to plant a seed of doubt in the mind of this horrible regime while at the same time using intelligent methods to inform the North Korean population they can and do have ways out.

Mac - May 19, 2017

If the politicians had listen to MacAruther, Korea would be a free democratic country now instead of being divided. China would not be a problem.

G. Allan Barnes - May 20, 2017

First make no deals with aid, money, sanctions relief, NOTHING ! !. That little twerp needs a wake-up call, big time. The U.S. MUST be ready, willing and able to exercise the use of force to let them know that if they go beyond their usual saber rattling, that we’ll turn them into the largest glass-lined parking lot the world has ever seen. Their society is so closed, that they’ve convinced themselves that they’d actually to stand a chance of beating America in a nuclear exchange. To them, a lie repeated often enough, soon becomes the truth.

karl corser - May 20, 2017


Ken Carroll - May 20, 2017

Along with the food packets, drop leaflets with the following message.

It may cost 100,000 lives to get rid of the Kim family. It may cost 10 million if you don’t. Our freedom cost. Yours will too.

JOHN EMMI - May 20, 2017

Regime change or liberation.

John Porter - May 20, 2017

Psy ops to the nth degree. Allow the citizens of North Korea to know that the world stands ready to provide aid and assistance for them to become legitimate democratic society with basic rights and privileges that exist in the U.S. Educate them to the facts of the U. S. Constitution and that the U.S. is a peace loving nation and that the world does not need another country with nuclear weapons etc. Use spy planes drones or what ever means to drop leaflets into N. Korea; set up a Voice of the Free World radio network similar to the Voice of America; smuggle or air drop small solar powered radio receivers into N. Korea or what ever ideas our professionals may have that might be better than the ones I have presented here; just for examples to stimulate thinking.

Henry C. Holder - May 20, 2017

It is North Korea’s problem – let them solve it.

Hank Raehn - May 21, 2017

I have no idea what are the viable options. However, I am all for what the administration does in the future as long as it does not continue the failed policies of past administrations for the past 40-50 years.

Veda Connolly - May 21, 2017

I would like to see the U.S. to protect our borders and keep our citizens safe from North Korean aggression. Figure out how the NK is supporting such nonsense and stop there funding in whatever means possible. If it’s Chinese, make deals that would be appealing to them in exchange for their promise to stop supporting NK. Help the South Koreans.

Glennie R Lawson - May 21, 2017

First of All Sanctions on North Korea Should Be Heavily Increased. If The Agression Continues, The President/Prime Minister/Premier of North Korea AND His Regime Should Be Taken Out!
At The Same Time, The People in The Prison Camps Should Be Released! And The Starvation of The Publi Must END.
Korea Should Be Forced By America, China And Their Allies To Change To A Freedom and Liberty Country.
Destroy Their Nuclear Facilities!
Help The People of North Korea.
DON”T Play Games And DON’T Do ANY Footsie-Footsie Negotiating With Them.
Increase Pressure on The North Korean Regime.
Don’t Wait Till Thousands or Millions Have Been Killed. Korean People are Humans Like We Are and They Deserve To Be Treated Humanely!
I Agree With Olivia Enos and Ted Cruz 100%!
Stop the Evil!

Jerry McAvoy - May 22, 2017

I wonder what the North Korean response would be, if we were to launch one of our underwater Trident missiles in their direction and If we were to give them the understanding that we could drop as many as we wanted on any target in North Korea.
Each Trident carries nuclear warheads and can completely wipe out a major city. These missiles were developed to be deterrents to other nations aggression. Maybe it is time they fulfilled their mission.

Ronald Beougher - May 22, 2017

I appreciate the diplomatic efforts, but they may be too little too late. Diplomacy has not been an inadequately effective tool to date.
A cyber attack would be an appropriate response to the stuff they have launched.
And, there are still a few of us around who remember the Cuban missile crisis and the blockade that broke it off.
The people need shipments of food, but all military supplies in and out of the country should cease.
I don’t know if we are that near out of options, but I believe the crisis is that serious.
A much more serious step would be to use an EMP on them. Many of the poor people would suffer little effect, but it would certainly impede progress on their test equipment.
I would like to see regime change, but don’t think we could achieve much with what power brokers are left.

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