Trump Says US Will Label North Korea a State Sponsor of Terror

North Korea

"In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of global terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil", Mr Trump said as he announced the designation at a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

In his Cabinet meeting, called the designation "a very critical step" that he said 'would start right now'. "Should have happened a long time ago".

"It should have happened years ago", Trump said, according to the pool.

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.

"Today's designation is long overdue as North Korea continued its sponsorship of terrorism". The president also cited Otto Warmbier, an American student who died in June after being imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months, during Monday's announcement.

North Korea would join Iran, Sudan and Syria on the list of state sponsors of terror.

He said more sanctions would be imposed on North Korea and "related persons" that the Treasury Department would begin to announce on Tuesday - part of rolling efforts to deprive Pyongyang of funds for its nuclear and missile programmes and leave it internationally isolated.

GETTYThe regime has fired missiles over Japan and dramatically accelerated its nuclear weapons programme
GETTYThe regime has fired missiles over Japan and dramatically accelerated its nuclear weapons programme

United Nations spokesperson Farhan Haq said the UN has "nothing to say" about the USA designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

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

U.S. officials involved in the internal deliberations said there was no debate over whether the February killing of Kim's half brother Kim Jong Nam was a terrorist act.

Tillerson noted that it had been about two months since the country tested a missile.

"A few years ago after North Korea's cyberhack of Sony Pictures, it threatened a 9/11-style attack against USA movie theaters", Ruggiero said.

Some experts think North Korea does not meet the criteria for the designation, which requires evidence that a state has "repeatedly provided support for acts of global terrorism". A country must "repeatedly provided support for acts of worldwide terrorism" to get the label from the United States government.

Adding them back to the list will also increase the effectiveness of sanctions, he added.

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