Senator Chuck Grassley believes having banks around the globe freeze North Korea’s assets would change the community country’s nuclear ambitions. "One thing that seemed to work during the Bush Administration was when we froze their assets," Grassley says.
"They banked internationally…We froze the assets of North Korea…and it seemed to make a very, very big impact on them." North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test on Monday and fired off two short-range missiles today as a show of force.
There’s been almost universal condemnation of North Korea for its nuclear test from countries around the globe. The Bush Administration lifted the international restrictions which froze North Korea’s assets and Grassley says North Korea’s leaders have proven they cannot be trusted.
"They wanted their assets unfrozen and Bush did melt the freeze and they were able to do international banking again," Grassley says. "It seemed to be a big thing to ’em and I would suggest reimposing the freezing of assets for North Korea." The United Nations Security Council has condemned North Korea’s recent actions and is drafting a new resolution to rebuke the country.
It’s unclear, though, how tough the Security Council might be as China — a Security Council member — doesn’t want to create a situation which would see thousands of refugees flee North Korea and settle across the border in China. North Korea already relies on foreign aid to feed most of its 23 million residents.