President Donald Trump, placed North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. North Korea was removed from the list by President George W. Bush in 2008.Trump announced the move Monday during a public meeting with his Cabinet at the White House and said the Treasury Department will announce new sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday.
“Today the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago,” Trump said.
The State Department’s current list of state sponsors of terrorism includes Iran, Sudan and Syria and functions as a sort of sanctions blacklist against countries that the U.S. has deemed “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.”
The Trump administration came under increasing pressure to return the country to the list after North Korea’s most recent nuclear test.
Trump also expressed his anger at the time over North Korea’s treatment of Warmbier and evoked his memory Monday in announcing his decision. The death of American Otto Warmbier in June after being imprisoned in the country.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe welcomed the move. The question of whether Trump would reinstall North Korea on the list hung over the President’s recent Asia trip.
Trump said new sanctions to be announced over the coming weeks, including Tuesday by the Treasury Department, will bring US sanctions against Pyongyang to their highest level ever.
Only three countries — Iran, Sudan and Syria — are currently labeled as state sponsors of terror by the United States.
This classification carries significant sanctions against the country’s ability to receive US foreign assistance and puts a ban on defense exports and sales. It also allows the United States to punish people or countries who trade with the designated countries.
At times the logistics of enforcing these sanctions is more difficult to implement.
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