Terror designation a way to hike North Korea pressure

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. In fact, it did: From 1988 to 2008, North Korea was on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, which includes Iran (since 1984), Sudan (since 1993), and Syria (since 1979).

US President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet Meeting in the White House, Washington, DC, November 20, 2017.

Trump's announcement comes days after his return from a five-nation tour of Asia, which focused on curbing Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. Trump called Kim Jong-un's government a "murderous regime" supporting "acts of worldwide terrorism", and once again called on the nation to "end its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development" programs.

Some members of Congress had been pushing for years for North Korea to be put back on the list, but others questioned whether the reclusive regime met the criteria of actively sponsoring worldwide terrorism.

"As we take this action today, our thoughts turn to Otto Warmbier and others affected by North Korean oppression", Trump continued, underlining the legal case for the designation.

During remarks at the start of a cabinet meeting at the White House, Trump said the Treasury Department will announce on Tuesday additional measures against North Korea, describing the moves as "a very large one". North Korea's state media said Kim inspected a hydrogen bomb.

"This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime".

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He added that he also is filing a motion asking that the transcript of the disputed private meeting be unsealed and made public. He criticized Brinkley for extending Mill's initial five-year probation sentence following various violations.

Some experts, as well as US officials speaking privately, believe North Korea does not meet the criteria for the designation, which requires evidence that a state has "repeatedly provided support for acts of worldwide terrorism".

"While global attention has been on nuclear weapons and missiles, we must not lose sight of North Korea's terrorist acts and gross violations of human rights", Klingner says.

The Los Angeles Times reports that officials are citing the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of Kim Jong-un, as an act of terror.

The White House has declared it will not tolerate Kim's regime testing or deploying an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to U.S. cities.

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.

A USA intelligence official who follows developments in North Korea expressed concern that the move could backfire, especially given that the basis for the designation is arguable.

  • Sonia Alvarado