President Trump said Monday he will designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, a move created to further isolate the rouge nation for its pursuit of nuclear weapons. White House officials telegraphed the move before Trump's departure.
North Korea was put on the USA terrorism sponsor list for the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air flight that killed all 115 people aboard.
The president said new sanctions were on the way for North Korea, invoking, Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died days after his return to the US earlier this year. It should have happened a long time ago.
"In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea repeatedly supported acts of global terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil", Trump said.
Trump added today that Pyongyang's is a "murderous regime", and demanded that it "end its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development".
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The U.S. State Department now lists Sudan, Syria and Iran as nations that have "repeatedly provided support for acts of worldwide terrorism".
The Republican president, who has traded personal insults with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but has not ruled out talks, said the Treasury Department will announce additional sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday. It limits US foreign assistance, bans defense exports and sales, boost limits on exports of dual-use items and affects financial transactions, according to the State Department.
Trump accused North Korea of "repeatedly" supporting global terrorism, "including assassinations on foreign soil".
North Korea said last week that it has no intention of ending its nuclear program, North Korea's Ambassador to the UN Han Tae-song. It has fired two missiles over Japan and on September 3 fired its sixth and largest nuclear test.
Otto Warmbier arriving at a court for his trial in Pyongyang, North Korea, March 16, 2015. Countries placed on this list are determined by the secretary of state to have "repeatedly provided support for acts of worldwide terrorism" and can face economic consequences as a result. While putting more pressure on North Korea to back down, the administration's measure might just be one step further towards military intervention.