April 21, 2017 10:22
Washington is considering whether it should put North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday. The remark came two days after Washington announced a new North Korea strategy of "maximum pressure and engagement" on Monday.
Tillerson told reporters at the State Department. "We're reviewing all the status of North Korea, both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as the other ways in which we can bring pressure on the regime in Pyongyang to reengage with us," he said. "We are evaluating all of those options."
A diplomatic source in Washington said the Trump administration is mobilizing all non-military sanctions but keeping military options open. But the source added Washington will not hold talks for the sake of talks but expects substantial signs that the North is willing to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.
But there are not many additional sanctions the U.S. can impose even if the North is put back on the list of terror sponsors, though that could make it harder for the North to receive aid from international organizations.
There are currently three countries on the list -- Iran, Sudan and Syria.
The North was put on the list in January 1988 after it blew up Korean Air Flight 858 the previous year. But it was struck off the list in November 2008 under a deal with the Bush administration.
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