LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ senators on Wednesday hailed the Senate’s unanimous passage of a bill to toughen sanctions on North Korea and accused President Barack Obama of failing to clamp down on that nation’s nuclear program.

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas’ senators on Wednesday hailed the Senate’s unanimous passage of a bill to toughen sanctions on North Korea and accused President Barack Obama of failing to clamp down on that nation’s nuclear program.


The Senate voted 96-0 to approve the bill, which would require asset seizures, visa bans and denials of government contracts for people who contribute to North Korea’s proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, arms-related materials, luxury goods, human rights abuses or activities that undermine cybersecurity.


The House approved a similar bill last month. Obama has not stated a position on the legislation, but he has not threatened a veto.


Pyongyang tested a nuclear device in January and launched a satellite on Sunday.


"While President Obama has misjudged the threats posed by ISIS, Iran and Russia, he flat-out ignored those posed by North Korea," U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., said in a statement Wednesday. "The recent aggressive posturing by North Korea is the direct result of a rogue state feeling emboldened by the misguided approach of the Obama foreign policy doctrine."


Boozman said the Obama administration’s deal with Iran will give that nation cover to continue its nuclear program and said Iran will follow the same course as North Korea in garnering concessions from the West.


"That is why Congress is taking the proactive approach that the administration should have taken in the first place," he said. "The unanimous passage of this bill sends a strong message to the dictators of the world — there is going to be a price to pay if you act out in this recklessly aggressive manner."


U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said that "under President Obama’s watch the North Korea program has grown and threatens the U.S. and our allies."


"Today the Senate took an important step toward tightening the vise around Kim Jong Un’s brutal and belligerent dictatorship," he said. "But this is only a first step. The United States must also speed efforts to deploy new missile defenses in Asia, form closer partnerships with our allies in the region, and make clear to China that its failure to pressure the Kim regime will invite its own costs."