Trump Returns North Korea to List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

North Korea was removed from the list (which includes Iran, Syria and Sudan) in 2008 in order to facilitate nuclear talks then taking place under the administration of President George W. Bush.

"Today the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism".

U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks about his recent trip to Asia in the Diplomatic Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 15, 2017.

Under U.S. law, a government must have "repeatedly provided support for acts of global terrorism" in order to be included on the Sponsors of Terrorism list.

Trump said that North Korea has "repeatedly" sponsored acts of terrorism, including "assassinations on foreign soil".

The designation had been debated for months inside the administration, with some officials at the State Department arguing that North Korea did not meet the legal standard to be relisted as a state sponsor of terrorism.

According to the White House press pool's report, Trump assured that the sanctions will be "the highest level" yet imposed on North Korea.

In any case, it will do little to open the way for USA dialogue with North Korea, which China and others have been pushing for.

US officials involved in the internal deliberations said there was no debate over whether the slaying of half-brother Kim Jong Nam was a terrorist act. He also mentions multiple North Korean assassinations and assassination plots, including the killing of Kim Jong Nam, Kim's half brother, who was poisoned earlier this year at a Malaysian airport. North Korea's state media said Kim inspected a hydrogen bomb.

At the request of Warmbier's family, six Democratic and six Republican senators later urged the State Department to consider reinstating North Korea to the list. "Putting them back on accomplishes nothing", Lt. Col. Eric C. Anderson, a retired U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer who spent most of his career focusing on North Korea, told Newsweek". "The regime also continues its push to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles, threatening global security", Royce added.

Thae was No. 2 in the North Korean embassy in London before he escaped with his wife and two sons, arriving in South Korea in 2016.

Bush made a decision to remove North Korea from the list as part of a bid to save a nuclear deal with the country.

  • Jon Douglas