President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he has designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, reversing President George W. Bush’s 2008 decision.
“Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Should have happened a long time ago should have happened years ago.”
The designation will allow the United States to impose additional sanctions and economic penalties on the reclusive state, intended to further pressure Pyongyang to discontinue its pursuit of increasingly advanced nuclear weapons and ballistic missile platforms. According to the president, those new sanctions will be announced by the U.S. Treasury on Tuesday.
Per the president’s statement, the decision to place North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terror was not specifically incited by the nation’s nuclear arms programs, however, but was rather incited by recent revelations regarding North Korea’s other aggressive behavior, such as attempts at “assassinations on foreign soil.”
“This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea … and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime,” Trump said.
Kim Jong Un’s half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, was assassinated on February 13th of this year at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia. Kim was attacked by two young women using a banned chemical nerve agent known as VX, popularized in the Michael Bay movie, “The Rock.” Upon his death, foreign relations between North Korean and Malaysia suffered, as the investigation soon indicated the involvement of the North Korean government in the attack.