North Korea Blasts US Terrorism Blacklisting

North Korea Blasts US Terrorism Blacklisting

Nonetheless, the added onus to doing business with Pyongyang - now a designated state terrorism sponsor - could encourage actions outside the US, said Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea scholar at Troy University in Seoul.

European researchers who gathered information from announcements made on North Korean state media have come up with a list of 15 places, mostly in the U.S. and Japan, which they say are on North Korea's list of targets.

Experts say the US decision to put North Korea back on its terrorism blacklist will have limited practical effect, but may make a diplomatic solution of the standoff over its nuclear weapons program more hard.

North Korea has called U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to relist the country as a state sponsor of terrorism a "serious provocation" that justifies its development of nuclear weapons. The U.S. has maintained North Korea must cease its program before negotiations can begin.

More seriously, however, Trump during his recent swing to East Asian capitals sought to line up broad support for tough policies toward North Korea.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-In has opposed any such action, which he believes could precipitate an attack by the North on South Korea, but he too has endorsed United Nations sanctions against the North. The recent visit of a special Chinese envoy to North Korea should give a clue to the North's position.

After a recent string of missile tests, and its sixth and largest nuclear test in September, North Korea's military testing has been quiet, raising speculation that Pyongyang may be waiting to see what the US offers to entice it to join talks. North Korean leaders and state media have said North Korea will not negotiate its nuclear program.

Trump warned that the terror designation and sanctions announcement would be part of a series of moves over the next two weeks to reinforce his "maximum pressure campaign" against Kim Jong-Un's regime.

Air China has cancelled flights between Beijing and Pyongyang due to low demand, closing one of the few routes into North Korea. On Tuesday the U.S. unveiled its fresh sanctions which also targeted North Korean shipping, raising the pressure on the North to abandon its nuclear programme.

Some North Korea analysts argue the state sponsor of terrorism designation and new sanctions could encourage a return to testing and belligerence from Pyongyang and discourage it from entering talks.

North Korea will re-join Iran, Sudan, and Syria who are in the USA list of state terrorism, as these countries "repeatedly provided support for acts of worldwide terrorism".

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