President Donald Trump has taken the next step in condemning the rogue state of North Korea by designating the Kim Jong Un-led regime a state sponsor of terror, emphasizing that it should have been done “a long time ago.”
Trump made the announcement to reporters during a cabinet meeting at the White House on Monday, referring to the deaths of American prisoner Otto Warmbier and “countless others” who have suffered at the hands of North Korea’s authoritarian government.
“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts terror, including assassinations on foreign soil,” he said.
“Should have happened a long time ago,” Trump added. “Should have happened years ago.”
The announcement will be accompanied on Tuesday by new sanctions from the Treasury Department.
“This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea … and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime,” Trump said.
The Trump administration is also expected to implore other countries to do their part to economically isolate North Korea until it scales down its weapons development programs and ends its aggressive posturing.
“As part of the administration’s maximum pressure strategy, we have asked all countries around the world to put diplomatic and economic pressure on the DPRK, whose regime threatens international peace and security with its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development, dangerous support for international terrorism and other malicious activities,” a State Department official told CNN.
“’Til Kim Jong Un must realize that the only path to a secure, economically prosperous future is to abandon his unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development and support for international terrorism and rejoin the international community,” the official added.
President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2008.