Ohio Senator backs bipartisan sanctions bill named after Otto Warmbier

American student Otto Warmbier speaks as Warmbier is presented to reporters Monday, Feb. 29, 2016, in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea announced late last month that it had arrested the 21-year-old University of Virginia undergraduate student. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLWT) —Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is one of three Senators that introduced a bipartisan bill Thursday that would impose new, harsher sanctions on North Korea.

A Senate banking committee is expected to act on the “Otto Warmbier Banking Restrictions Involving North Korea Act of 2017” next week.

The bill is named in honor of Wyoming High School graduate Otto Warmbier, who died in June, six days after he was released from a North Korea prison.

Sen. Brown said the new sanctions bill is intended to pressure North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons program and prevent foreign banks from doing business with North Korea.

The bill is also written to strengthen congressional oversight of North Korea sanctions and the treasury’s role in combating human trafficking in North Korea.

Warmbier was visiting North Korea in 2016 with a tour group when he was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor, but was sent back to the United States in June.

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