The communist state of North Korea said through its state-run news agencies on Wednesday that President Donald Trump throwing the country back onto the list of terrorist sponsors is “provoking.”
Trump returned North Korea to its old position on the list of state sponsors of terrorism on Monday. This would allow the U.S. to put further sanctions on the hermit nation.
According to Reuters, the designation has only emboldened North Korea to maintain its nuclear missile program, and called the U.S.’s move “a tool for American style authoritarianism that can be attached or removed at any time in accordance with its interests.”
“As long as the U.S. continues with its anti-[Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] hostile policy, our deterrence will be further strengthened,” said a North Korean official.
“The U.S. will be held entirely accountable for all the consequences to be entailed by its impudent provocation to the DPRK,” he added.
North Korea had been removed from the aforementioned list in 2008 by George W. Bush, who did so in order to prevent North Korea from continuing its nuclear missile program.
Its return to the list is something some believe should have happened long ago. According to the Washington Post, various events should have returned North Korea to its designation:
One key bone of contention is whether North Korea has committed acts of terrorism in recent years. For example, in 2015, Joshua Stanton wrote a report for the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea arguing that although it was commonly thought that North Korea had not been directly linked to high-profile terrorism plots since 1987, Pyongyang had been actively involved in suspected arms transfers to terrorists as well as other threats and assassination plots that met the legal definitions of “international terrorism” and terrorism “support.”
These arguments were bolstered in recent years by the alleged hack of Sony Pictures in 2014 and the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, half brother to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in 2017 — the latter of which was called an “act of terrorism” by South Korea soon afterward.
This statement from North Korea is just another move in the ongoing war of words between Pyongyang and Washington over North Korea’s continued insistence they continue their nuclear missile program, which has antagonized the U.S. and its allies through various missile tests and threats.
However, North Korea’s antagonism has earned ire from even its closest ally, China, which has begun slowly turning its back on the communist nation. This includes China’s leader, Xi Jinping, throwing some choice insults at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.