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US$44 mln necessary to implement N.K. sanctions bill for 5 years

2016/02/18 06:39

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 (Yonhap) -- About US$44 million would be needed for the next five years to implement a North Korea sanctions bill that Congress has overwhelmingly approved in response to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests, the Congressional Budget Office estimates.

Of the total, $33 million is necessary to carry out provisions for radio broadcasting and other programs to improve access to information to North Koreans and humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees, the office said in a cost estimate report.

The other $11 million would be spent on hiring about 10 additional employees to implement the bill and address other administrative purposes over the 2017-2021 period, the office said.

Last week, the Senate and the House overwhelmingly approved the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2016 in a demonstration of bipartisan support for a tough response to the North's nuclear and missile tests amid concern that Pyongyang is making progress in efforts to develop nuclear missiles capable of striking the U.S.

The legislation calls for imposing mandatory sanctions on those assisting Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs, cyber-attacks, human rights abuses and imports of luxury goods.

It is also aimed at choking off sources of cash for the regime by sanctioning trade in coal, minerals and precious metals, as well as blacklisting those helping with Pyongyang's money laundering, counterfeiting, cash smuggling and narcotics trafficking.