US President Donald Trump Designates North Korea as a State Sponsor of Terrorism
Washington, November 20: United States President Donald Trump on Monday officially designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, returning the rogue nation to a list which it had been removed some 10-years ago. This will allow the US to impose additional sanctions and penalties on North Korea as it continues to pursue nuclear programmes.
Under the George W Bush administration, North Korea was removed from the list in an attempt to salvage negotiations for a nuclear deal.
The Republican president made the announcement at the White House on Monday morning. After this, North Korea will join Sudan, Iran and Syria as countries that the State Department identifies as ones that have “repeatedly provided support in acts of international terrorism”.
Trump who has traded personal barbs and insults with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, said the Treasury Department will announce the additional sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday.
The designation came a week after US president returned from a 12-day, five-nation trip to Asia in which the US president made containing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions a centrepiece of his discussions with world leaders.
“Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago should have happened years ago,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
North Korea is carrying out nuclear weapons and missile programmes in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions. The rogue nation under the leadership of outspoken dictator has also fired two missiles over Japan.
South Korea’s intelligence inputs said that North Korea may soon start conducting additional missile tests this year to polish up its long-range missile technology and ramp up the threat against the United States.
Experts have argued that North Korea does not meet the criteria for the designation, which requires huge evidence that a state has “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”
It is also said that the move will be largely symbolic, as North Korea is already facing heavy sanctions by the United States.