Monday, February 20, 2017

US Lawmakers Want North Korea Added to Terrorism Blacklist |

US Lawmakers Want North Korea Added to Terrorism Blacklist | The apparent assassination of the North Korean leader's estranged half-brother is strengthening bipartisan calls for the U.S. to place North Korea's name back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, a designation lifted nine years ago. Doing so would increase the country's isolation, while potentially complicating any future diplomacy to halt its nuclear and missile programs.

The U.S. kept North Korea on its terrorism blacklist for two decades after the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner killed 115 people. But President George W. Bush lifted the designation in 2008 to smooth the way for aid-for-disarmament negotiations. The concession proved of little value as the talks collapsed soon after and have yet to resume.

Currently, the U.S. considers only Iran, Sudan and Syria as terrorism sponsors. To re-impose the designation on North Korea, the secretary of state would have to determine that it has "repeatedly" provided support for acts of international terrorism. Last June, the department said North Korea "is not known to have sponsored any terrorist acts" since the plane attack 30 years ago.

House lawmakers are pushing for a fresh review of the evidence.