Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Trump Returns North Korea to List of State Sponsors of Terrorism

The new US sanctions against North Korea are the latest salvo from Washington in President Donald Trump's Kim Jong-un 'punishes top military officials for "impure behaviour"'
Lillian Steele | 21 November, 2017, 01:08

Mr Trump said the designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism was long overdue, and he promised a new wave of sanctions as part of a "maximum pressure campaign" over the North's development of nuclear weapons that could soon pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland. At the start of a meeting of the US Cabinet in the White House, Trump accused the DPRK administration of sponsoring 'acts of International Terrorism.' This decision was produced one week after the return of the US President from his Asian tour to five countries: Japan, Republic of South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

North Korea was put on the USA terrorism sponsor list for the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air flight that killed all 115 people aboard.

During a fiery speech in South Korea, Trump described North Korea as an out-of-control country led by Kim Jong Un, whom he cast as a maniacal and deranged man. North Korea's state media said Kim inspected a hydrogen bomb.

The North had been designated for two decades until 2008 when it was removed in a bid to salvage worldwide talks aimed at halting its nuclear efforts. He says, "We're hopeful this period will continue".

Former President Barack Obama removed Cuba from the list in 2015 and Bush, in addition to North Korea, removed Libya in 2006 and Iraq in 2004.

Last month, 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives had sent a letter to the State Department calling for North Korea's re-designation on the terror list. U.S. officials allege he was tortured in custody.

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 worldwide terrorism".

"The regime has made numerous lethal incursions in South Korea, attempted to assassinate senior leaders, attacked South Korean ships and tortured Otto Warmbier, ultimately leading to that fine young man's death", Trump said. These are expected to be implemented over the next two weeks.

Trump added today that Pyongyang's is a "murderous regime", and demanded that it "end its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development".

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 USA cities.

The State Department, which was facing bipartisan calls to relist the country in the face of growing nuclear threats from Pyongyang, opted to delay the decision until after the President's trip.

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