Washington (People’s Daily) - President Trump announced this morning that North Korea will once again be categorized as a state sponsor of terror as the country’s nuclear ambitions continue to jeopardize the Korea Peninsula.
“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump said at a Cabinet meeting today.
The measure is aimed at imposing greater sanctions and penalties on a country now deemed a threat alongside Iran, Sudan, and Syria.
Trump called the measure “long overdue” and explained that it was part of his “maximum pressure campaign” against NK.
Earlier this year, Kim Jong-Nam, half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was assassinated at a Malaysian airport. US officials ruled the incident an act of terror orchestrated by NK.
There was disagreement between US administration officials and State Department staff who felt that NK should not be re-labeled a terror threat.
US officials were convinced the airport hit was a NK terrorist act. Lawyers against the measure argued that one incident was not enough. They also disagreed that Otto Warmbier’s death, the US citizen who died after he was released from NK custody, was also the result of a terrorist act.
US officials were not authorized to comment on today’s announcement.
In 2008, North Korea was taken off the terror list in a negotiating move designed to freeze its nuclear aspirations.
NK has since advanced its nuclear and missile capabilities, with some of its arsenal sophisticated enough to strike North American territories.
Trump has dealt with pressure from US decision-makers to relist NK since taking office, yet detractors remain concerned today’s move will only increase tension.