US declares North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism

Author
Reuters,
Section
World,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 7:13PM
North Korea have deflected the developments, turning it back on the US. (Photo/AP)
North Korea have deflected the developments, turning it back on the US. (Photo/AP)

Kim Jong-un has displayed trademark defiance after the United States declared Pyongyang a state sponsor of terrorism, saying sanctions make the spirit of North Korea stronger.

"The hostile forces' desperate efforts to block the advance of the DPRK make the indomitable spirit of the Korean workers stronger and make them produce a great miracle startling the world," the North Korean leader said, according to the state news agency KCNA.

The KCNA published the news just hours after US President Donald Trump announced his decision to reinclude North Korea on the list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The designation, announced on Monday, allows the US to impose more sanctions on Pyongyang, which is pursuing nuclear weapons and missile programs in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions.

The announcement has been welcomed by Japan and South Korea.

"I welcome and support (the designation) as it raises the pressure on North Korea," Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, according to Kyodo news agency.

South Korea said it expected the listing to contribute to the peaceful denuclearisation of the North, adding it continued, along with the US, to seek to bring North Korea to the negotiating table.

Trump's relisting of North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism comes a week after he returned from a 12-day trip to Asia in which containing Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions was a centrepiece of discussions.

"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 the White House.

"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."

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also backed Trump's decision, saying the move was in line with international efforts to bring the rogue state to its senses.

Trump, who has often criticised his predecessors' policies toward Pyongyang, said the designation should have been made "a long time ago".

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

But the administration of former President George W Bush, a Republican, removed Pyongyang in 2008 in exchange for progress in denuclearisation talks.

Experts say the designation will be largely symbolic because North Korea is already heavily sanctioned by the US.

- Reuters

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