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Trump declares North Korea a state sponsor of terror

21 November 2017

On Nov. 20, President Trump announced that North Korea was again being designated as a state sponsor of terror after the country was removed in 2008 under President George W. Bush for meeting nuclear weapons inspection requirements.

Prior to today's decision, only three countries - Iran, Sudan and Syria - were labeled state sponsors of terror by the United States.

Gold prices rose sharply on Friday amid an uptick in geopolitical uncertainty after North Korea ruled out negotiations with Washington on curbing its nuclear weapons programme. The talks collapsed soon after and have not been revived since. "Putting them back on accomplishes nothing", Lt. Col. Eric C. Anderson, a retired U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer who spent most of his career focusing on North Korea, told Newsweek".

Trump said that the formal declaration will be issued Tuesday, along with increased sanctions on North Korea that will be "the highest level of sanctions" ever.

The move returns North Korea to the list of countries the US views as state sponsors of terror for the first time since 2008.

US officials cited the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother in a Malaysian airport this year as an act of terrorism.

Kim Jong-un 'punishes top military officials for
Trump declares North Korea a state sponsor of terror

However, lawyers said there had to be more than one incident, and there was disagreement over whether the treatment of American student Otto Warmbier, who died of injuries suffered in North Korean custody, constituted terrorism. Countries placed on this list are determined by the secretary of state to have "repeatedly provided support for acts of global terrorism" and can face economic consequences as a result. In making the announcement, Mr Trump did refer to Mr Warmbier "and the countless others so brutally affected" by North Korean oppression.

"This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea. and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime", Trump said.

In fact, it did: From 1988 to 2008, North Korea was on the USA list of state sponsors of terrorism, which includes Iran (since 1984), Sudan (since 1993), and Syria (since 1979). North Korea's state media said Kim inspected a hydrogen bomb. A recent editorial in the ruling party Rodong Sinmum newspaper referred to the president as "a ugly criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people".

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. The latest missile test flew over Japan on September 15.

Thae was No. 2 in the North Korean embassy in London before he escaped with his wife and two sons, arriving in South Korea in 2016.

Trump declares North Korea a state sponsor of terror