North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) claps as he attends the unveiling ceremony of two statues of former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang on April 13, 2012.  North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-Un on April 13 led a mass rally for his late father and grandfather following the country's failed rocket launch. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones        (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. doubts North Korea's hydrogen bomb claim
01:55 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

A vote is scheduled for Tuesday on legislation to sanction North Korea

The White House has shed doubt on whether Pyongyang had indeed detonated a hydrogen bomb

Washington CNN  — 

The House of Representatives is expected to vote on new economic sanctions on North Korea, on the heels of its claim to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb this week.

A vote is scheduled for Tuesday, according to House leadership.

The legislation, sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce of California and Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the panel, would curtail North Korea’s access to U.S. financial markets, targeting banks that may be supporting North Korea’s arms, money-laundering or smuggling operations. It would also authorize the U.S. to sanction others who are facilitating or transferring assets to North Korea, penalize cybercrimes and crack down on human rights abuses.

The White House has shed doubt on whether Pyongyang had indeed detonated a hydrogen bomb, with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest saying, “the initial analysis is not consistent with the North Korean claims.”

READ: Political fallout for Hillary Clinton after North Korea’s nuke test

Either way, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the action threatens security in the region and predicted the sanctions bill would get “strong bipartisan support.”

Royce acknowledged Wednesday that there was “a conflict of visions” between many in Congress and the administration on the merit of imposing sanctions, but he argued it was time for Congress to move the legislation.

While Congress would like to impose economic sanctions immediately, the White House has repeatedly said it is working with allies to decide what is the best way to deal with North Korea, whose economy is already crippled.

Earnest cited an extensive diplomatic effort in the region to bring additional pressure on Pyongyang and that additional economic sanctions against the isolated country may be a part U.S. response to the test. U.S. officials told CNN on Wednesday that they are pushing the United Nations to adopt a resolution with sanctions against North Korea.