US Department of State

Choe Ryong Hae second from right vice chairman of the Central Committee of North Korea's ruling party talks with Song Tao fourth from left the head of China's ruling Communist Party's International Liaison Department at the Mansudae Assembly Hall

George W. Bush had removed North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terror in 2008 to try to salvage a nuclear disarmament agreement.

The U.S. State Department now lists Sudan, Syria and Iran as nations that have "repeatedly provided support for acts of global terrorism".

USA officials cited the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's estranged half brother in a Malaysian airport this year as an act of terrorism.

Countries determined by the Secretary of State to have repeatedly provided support for acts of worldwide terrorism are designated pursuant to three laws: section 6 (j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act.

"Today the United States is designating the North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism".

"This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime".

Trump at November 20th cabinet meeting announcing the re-designation.

"While global attention has been on nuclear weapons and missiles, we must not lose sight of North Korea's terrorist acts and gross violations of human rights", Klingner says.

"We've had the North Koreans on the state sponsor of terror before..."

Specifically, Klingner cites recent cyberattacks against US and South Korean targets, including the 2014 attack against Sony Pictures for producing a film critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

At the request of Warmbier's family, six Democratic and six Republican senators later urged the State Department to consider reinstating North Korea to the list.

Leaning into the likelihood that Trump would decide to reinstate North Korea's spot on the list, a senior administration official told reporters that taking North Korea off the list "was one of the things that a previous administration lifted.as part of a hopeful attempt to lure them into reversing the threat". Two women are on trial for poisoning Kim Jong-nam with VX gas in a Malaysian airport last February.

The White House has declared it will not tolerate Kim's regime testing or deploying an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to United States cities.

"The North Korean regime must be lawful", the president declared.

Gold prices rose sharply on Friday amid an uptick in geopolitical uncertainty after North Korea ruled out negotiations with Washington on curbing its nuclear weapons programme.

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