Trump to Designate North Korea as State Sponsor of Terrorism

U.S. President Donald Trump said this is part of his administration's 'maximum pressure campaign' to pressure North Korea's nuclear activities

U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC, November 20, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC, November 20, 2017 Saul Loeb / AFP

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday the United States intends to again designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism as part of its "maximum pressure campaign" to isolate Pyongyang over its nuclear activities.

Trump made the announcement at a cabinet meeting after returning from a trip to Asia last week that focused heavily on isolating North Korea over its nuclear program.

Trump also pointed to other acts of terrorism by North Korea, including assassinations on foreign soil, and those affected by the brutality of the North Korean regime, including U.S. student Otto Warmbier who died this year after being held by North Korea.

The Treasury Department would roll out new sanctions against North Korea beginning Tuesday, Trump said, calling them the "highest level" of sanctions ever imposed on the regime.

North Korea had been removed from the state sponsor of terrorism list in 2008 as part of earlier efforts to rein in its nuclear program.

The designation imposes a variety of sanctions and now applies to Iran, Sudan and Syria.

North Korea already faces heavy sanctions from the U.S. and international community over its nuclear and missile program.

Trump has engaged for months in a heated exchange of rhetoric against North Korea, warning of potential tough action against Pyongyang, as he has also pressured China to do more to isolate North Korea.