by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | November 20, 2017 1:22 pm
President Trump has just relisted North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. They should never have been taken off that list to begin with, so good for Trump. President Trump announced Monday that the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, something he said “should have happened a long time ago.” He made the announcement in a Cabinet meeting at the White House, clearing the way for more sanctions on the “murderous” rogue regime, just days after returning from his historic 13-day trip to Asia. This will ratchet the pressure up on North Korea and their nuclear ambitions. It remains to be seen how they will react to this latest development.
North Korea was recognized as a state sponsor of terror for a decade, but they were removed from the list in 2008 by President George W. Bush. Shame on him for that. “It should have happened years ago,” Trump stated, citing assassinations on foreign soil. That seems to refer to Kim Jong-Un offing his half-brother in Malaysia with a chemical weapon. It also refers to the brutal treatment and death of college student Otto Warmbier. “The regime has made numerous lethal incursions in South Korea, attempted to assassinate senior leaders, attacked South Korean ships and tortured Otto Warmbier, ultimately leading to that fine young man’s death,” Trump said. The President was considering relisting North Korea during his Asian trip and made up his mind while traveling.
North Korea now joins Iran, Sudan and Syria on that list. Countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism are subject to “restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions,” according to the U.S. Department of State. Trump added that the designation supports a “maximum-pressure campaign” on the “murderous regime.”
The sanctions will be imposed over a two-week period and will constitute the “highest level of sanctions” on North Korea. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had mentioned the idea of re-designating North Korea to the list in April. This is long overdue and is one more step towards war with the North Koreans. But it is necessary. We cannot tolerate a nuclear North Korea with an unstable leader. During a fiery speech in South Korea, Trump described North Korea as an out-of-control country led by Kim Jong-Un, whom he cast as a maniacal and deranged man. Trump is exactly right on that count.
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