President Trump has reinstated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism in an effort to crack down on Kim Jong Un's nuclear program, The New York Times reports. Former President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in 2008 while attempting to negotiate a nuclear deal. The nation was first listed in 1988.
"Today the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism," Trump said in his announcement Monday. "Should have happened a long time ago, should have happened years ago. In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil."
Last year, South Korean officials claimed Kim had sent assassins abroad to kill or abduct defectors. North Korea has successfully killed defectors in the past, such as when the nephew of the former wife of the previous North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, was assassinated in South Korea in 1997. Additionally, two female assassins were accused of killing Kim's estranged older half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, in Malaysia earlier this year.
North Korea joins a list of state sponsors of terrorism that includes Sudan, Syria, and Iran. The announcement follows Trump's 12-day trip through Asia, including a stop in South Korea. Watch his declaration below. Jeva Lange
Trump says that North Korea should have been labeled a state sponsor of terror "a long time ago, should have happened years ago."
It did. North Korea was added in 1988. Removed in 2008 by George W. Bush. pic.twitter.com/SH9LJX1Yjx
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 20, 2017