Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

North Korea: Terror relisting 'disgraceful behavior' by Trump

President Donald Trump Inauguration Ceremony North Korea Blasts US Terrorism Blacklisting
Lance Thomas | 24 November, 2017, 00:23

In its first reaction to President Trump's designation, a spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry called the decision as a serious provocation.

A truck returns over the Friendship Bridge, from the North Korean town of Sinuiju to the Chinese border city of Dandong, on September 5, 2017.

The announcement delivered via the state media KCNA was the first official response to the sanctions which targeted one individual, 13 companies and 20 vessels, the US says are engaged in millions of dollars worth of trade with North Korea. But the unilateral measures, analysts said, only prevent USA companies and banks from doing business with those sanctioned, which was already happening in practice. The sanctions against North Korean vessels were intended to deprive the North of the means to conduct global trade on which the country depends.

North Korea seeks to instil doubts among those who think that it would not respond to strikes against its nuclear and missile sites out of a fear of escalation and, ultimately, regime collapse.

North Korea condemned its United States terror listing as a "serious provocation" on Wednesday, warning that sanctions would never force it to abandon its nuclear weapons programme.

The designation had been debated for months inside the administration, with some officials at the State Department arguing that North Korea did not meet the legal standard to be relisted as a state sponsor of terrorism.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Sungri Motor Complex in Pyeongannam-do. He added to this campaign for global support in a telephone conversation Tuesday with Russia's President Vladimir Putin, seeking to enlist his support for heightened pressure against the North.

The US removed North Korea from the list back in 2008 as part of an effort to improve ties.

North Korea joins Iran, Sudan, and Syria - the only countries designated by the U.S.as state sponsors of terrorism.

Trump and Tillerson have both said the time for such patience is over and now is the time to act decisively.

Kyoto, Osaka, Yokohoma and Kyoto are among the Japanese targets, while Seoul, Degu and Jongwon in South Korea are also identified.

The UN estimated the latest ban, imposed after its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July, would slash by North Korea's $3-billion annual export revenue by a third. "The U.N. [Security Council] Sanction 2375 has been operating, so I think it will enhance pressure on Kim Jong Un's regime and worldwide society's distrust on North Korea".

The move infuriated China, which is North Korea's main trading partner. China, moreover, still pours oil into North Korea, fueling an economy that otherwise survives on far less efficient coal.

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".

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