US President Donald Trump on Monday blacklisted North Korea after declaring the nation a state sponsor of terrorism.
The designation, which was lifted in 2008 by then-President George Bush, adds to the array of sanctions. from the US and the UN, the nuclear-armed nation is currently under.
Trump opined that the designation should have “happened a long time ago” at the start of the White House cabinet meeting he made the declaration.
“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil.
“As we take this action today, our thoughts turn to Otto Warmbier and others affected by North Korean oppression,” Trump added.
Warmbier, who Trump referenced, was an American student allegedly tortured by the North Korean authorities before being repatriated to the US in a coma which he did not come out of.
Considering the heavy sanctions already placed on North Korea, the designation has very bare economic effect but this does not make it useless. It is speculated that by blacklisting the nation, Trump has upped the ante and pressure on Pyongyang.
The move will also serve to proclaim the seriousness the US places on the handling of the North Korea matter; a shrewd one that would get nations slacking in the enforcement of the embargoes to pick up the pace.
“The Treasury Department will be announcing an additional sanction — and a large one — on North Korea.
“This will be going on over the next two weeks and it will be the highest level of sanctions.
“The North Korean regime must be lawful and end its unlawful nuclear ballistic missile development and cease all support for international terrorism, which it is not doing.”
The White House is attempting to shut down Pyongyang’s nuclear programme before it achieves the ability to create a missile that can actually reach the US. This, according to experts, is a real possibility for a nation that has been testing out its capabilities since 2006.