Trump declares North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism

21 November, 2017, 01:24 | Author: Kim Reid
  • Trump administration slaps more sanctions on North Korea

Putting North Korea back on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terror ups the ante in Trump and Kim Jong-un's public battle, which has sometimes veered toward the personal.

The United States has designated only three other countries - Iran, Sudan and Syria - as state sponsors of terrorism. The talks collapsed soon after and haven't been revived since.

USA student Warmbier died this year, aged 22, after he was repatriated from detention in North Korea, already in a coma. The step is likely to further sour relations between Washington and Pyongyang that have turned uglier with name-calling between Trump and Kim Jong Un. It was removed under George W. Bush's presidency as part of a diplomatic deal for North Korea to allow inspection of its Yongbyon nuclear facility, as well as dismantle a plutonium plant-neither of which were done.

"It's a purely symbolic move by the Trump administration to show that it's being as tough as possible when it comes to North Korea, but in practice the USA, with the recent legislation that Congress passed in August and the designation from the U.N. Security Council, can already impose massive wide sanctions on the North Korean economy as well as against other countries doing business with North Korea", Fuchs says.

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North Korea was taken off the USA list of state sponsors of terror in 2008 during nuclear negotiations with the George W. Bush administration.

In February, Kim's potential rival and elder brother Kim Jong-Nam died after he was sprayed with a nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur airport, in an assassination blamed on Pyongyang.

Otto Warmbier arriving at a court for his trial in Pyongyang, North Korea, March 16, 2015.

Neither Trump nor the State Department specified Monday which acts of terrorism and assassination the North had supported.

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"Today, I hope I speak not only for our countries, but for all civilized nations, when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us".

North Korea said last week that it has no intention of ending its nuclear program, North Korea's Ambassador to the UN Han Tae-song.

Earlier this month, another North Korean media outlet said Mr Trump was "sentenced to death" for his attacks on Mr Kim.

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