President Donald Trump announced Monday that the U.S. will designate the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a state sponsor of terror amid heightened nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula.
CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.
Trump said the designation will impose further penalties on the country. He called it a long overdue step and part of the U.S. “maximum pressure campaign” against the DPRK. DPRK would join Iran, Sudan and Syria on the list of state sponsors of terror.
“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 during a Cabinet meeting.
U.S. officials cited the killing of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother in a Malaysian airport earlier this year as an act of terrorism.
The designation had been debated for months inside the administration, with some officials at the State Department arguing that DPRK did not meet the legal standard to be relisted as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The move returns DPRK to the ignominious list for the first time since 2008, when DPRK was removed in a bid to salvage a deal to halt its nuclear development.
The U.S. State Department issued a statement saying, “The DPRK’s State Sponsor of Terrorism designation adds another layer of restriction on U.S. foreign assistance to the DPRK, but due to sanctions already in place doesn’t have any significant new practical effect.”
Story compiled with information from The Associated Press.