Trump declares North Korea a state sponsor of terror

North Korea Hwang Pyong-so and Kim Jong-un

United States student Warmbier died this year, aged 22, after he was repatriated from detention in North Korea, already in a coma.

President Donald Trump announced Monday the U.S.is putting North Korea's "murderous regime" on America's terrorism blacklist, despite questions about Pyongyang's support for global attacks beyond the assassination of its leader's half brother in February.

"This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons and supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime". "Should have happened a long time ago". It has fired two missiles over Japan and on September 3 fired its sixth and largest nuclear test.

Earlier this month, another North Korean media outlet said Mr Trump was "sentenced to death" for his attacks on Mr Kim.

"Today, I hope I speak not only for our countries, but for all civilised nations, when I say to the North: Do not underestimate us". It now joins Iran, Syria and Sudan on the list, which is overseen by the State Department.

Trump accused North Korea of "repeatedly" supporting worldwide terrorism, "including assassinations on foreign soil".

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The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Kim could respond in a number of ways, including renewing missile or nuclear tests in "a very volatile environment".

"As long as there is continuous hostile policy against my country [North Korea] by the USA and as long as there are continued war games at our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations", North Korea's United States ambassador Han Tae Song said.

The step at least symbolically ratchets up the roiling standoff between the USA and North Korea over Pyongyang's program to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles that could hit the US mainland. Cuba had been on the list but was removed by President Barack Obama in 2015. "Putting them back on accomplishes nothing", Lt. Col. Eric C. Anderson, a retired U.S. Air Force Intelligence Officer who spent most of his career focusing on North Korea, told Newsweek".

The North Korean commentary accused Mr Trump of committing a "hideous crime against the Korean people" by insulting its leader, and warning that this "thrice-cursed crime can never be pardoned".

However, Democratic Senator Edward Markey said the designation "ratchets up the rhetoric" but does nothing to hold the North accountable for its weapons program. In making the announcement, Trump did refer to Warmbier "and the countless others so brutally affected" by North Korean oppression.

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