North Korea: Terror relisting 'disgraceful behavior' by Trump
24 November, 2017, 01:16 | Author: Brenda Erickson
U.S. officials say Pyongyang is close to developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of striking the USA, and have vowed that a nuclear-armed North Korea will not be tolerated. Air China last cancelled flights to North Korea in April, citing low customer demand, but resumed them soon after.
The researchers gathered their information from announcements made on North Korean state media and were able to come up with 15 targets on North Korea's list, including the Pentagon, Tokyo and USA strategic sites in the Pacific Ocean.
"In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of worldwide terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil", Trump told reporters at the White House. "The U.N. [Security Council] Sanction 2375 has been operating, so I think it will enhance pressure on Kim Jong Un's regime and global society's distrust on North Korea".
In recent months, Trump has threatened North Korea with "total destruction" if it refuses to curb its nuclear missile program while simultaneously escalating tensions between the US and North Korea with bombastic name-calling. And, according to U.S. officials, some Chinese-based banks and trading firms continue to do business with the North in defiance of United Nations sanctions and USA threats of unilateral measures. The response came shortly after China, the North's sole ally, also rejected as "wrong" new USA sanctions that targeted Chinese companies doing business with the pariah state.
For comparison, North Korea's recorded trade volume was $6.5 billion a year ago.
The timing of the added pressure on North Korea could work against bringing it to negotiate an end to its nuclear and missile programs.
Trump met China's President Xi Jinping earlier this month and is bullish about the US-China relationship, but concerns remain that Beijing is not ready to take tough measures against Kim.
Christopher Hill is the former USA diplomat who was instrumental in persuading first the secretary of state at the time, Condoleezza Rice, and then President Bush, to pull North Korea's name from the "terror list".
"We hope the relevant parties will do more to help deescalate tensions and come back to the track of peacefully resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation".
USA diplomats responsible for negotiating with the North Koreans in previous years were by and large supportive of strong sanctions - and also of calling North Korea a "terror state". It was that year that Bush removed North Korea from the "terror" list in hopes of persuading North Korea to abide by agreements hammered out in six-party talks calling for a specific schedule for dismantling its nuclear program.
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