Mr Trump said Pyongyang should have been put on the terror list “years ago.” It was previously on the list from 1988 to 2008.
The president stated that North Korea had repeatedly sponsored acts of terrorism, including by “assassinations on foreign soil” — probably a reference to the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the disgraced elder half-brother of the North’s ruler Kim Jong Un, in Malaysia in February.
The US State Department designation supposedly denotes Washington’s belief that a country backs terrorism but is usually viewed as an indication of political hostility.
North Korea joins Iran, Syria and Sudan on the list, while US allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia have never featured despite the former’s suspected involvement in the assassinations of Iranian scientists, the latter’s links to the terrorists who brought down the World Trade Centre towers in 2001 or the support both have provided to radical Islamist insurgents in Syria.
The US itself, which sponsored the Contra terrorists in Nicaragua and the mojahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s, is implicated in terrorist attacks on Cuba over several decades, has provided arms and money to the jihadists in the Libyan and Syrian wars since 2010 and has been called the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.
Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said the list was “another means by which the US creates excuses for war.
“North Korea is already subject to sanctions and constant military manoeuvres on its borders.
“Meanwhile the terror of air strikes, in which the US leads the field, continues unabated.”