United States President Trump on Monday designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, almost a decade after former President George W Bush took the country off the list, the Washington Post reported. The Treasury Department will announce new sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday.
“This should have happened a long time ago,” Trump said, adding that Pyongyang had carried out acts of terrorism, including assassinations, on foreign soil, CNN reported. “As we take this action today, our thoughts turn to Otto Warmbier and countless others brutally affected by the North Korean oppression.”
Warmbier, an American student, died in June after being imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months. While his parents had claimed Pyongyang had “systematically tortured” him, a coroner’s report had said there were no such indications.
This decision by the Trump administration, announced during a Cabinet meeting on Monday, is aimed at increasing pressure on the regime of Kim Jong-un over its nuclear weapons programme, the BBC reported.
Trump has warned North Korea a number of times against boosting its nuclear weapons programme this year. In July, Pyongyang twice launched a long-range missile that could potentially reach the US mainland. In September, it conducted its sixth and most powerful atomic explosion yet.