North Korea warns U.S., says terror relisting move 'serious provocation'

KCNA via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS- THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY

North Korea's state-run organization, the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, released a separate statement, which called for Washington to immediately withdraw its decision. The North Koreans said President Trump's decision to put North Korea back on a list of states that sponsor terrorism is a "serious provocation".

Sanctions are squeezing North Korea's economy more than in the past because China's enforcement has been much stronger, said Benjamin Katzeff Silbertstein, contributor to 38 North, a program of the U.S. -Korea Institute, and co-editor of North Korean Economy Watch.

North Korea has criticized the US for relisting the country as a state sponsor of terrorism.

That the new list included a Chinese individual - the CEO of a company in a city near North Korea - and four Chinese companies show that the action also seeks to press China, the North's sole remaining ally and the largest benefactor, as well. The U.S. has maintained North Korea must cease its program before negotiations can begin. This has been an alarmingly common combination for U.S. policy toward North Korea to achieve.

But analysts question whether the moves, which also target Chinese trade, can get North Korea to the negotiating table. One of his favorite comments is the US should have re-designated North Korea as a sponsor of terror "a long time ago" - that was a dig against Obama's policy of "strategic patience" in dealing with the North.




This continues a trend in which US-North Korea relations appear to send a lot of mixed messages.

North Korea has been accelerating its pursuit of nuclear weapons capable of targeting the United States and its Asian allies.

China has been pushing what it calls a "freeze for freeze" agreement that would halt USA and South Korean large-scale military drills in return for North Korea suspending its testing and nuclear program. Trump said that the terror designation and new sanctions would be part of a series of moves over the next two weeks to reinforce his "maximum pressure campaign" against Kim Jong-Un's regime.

The US removed North Korea from its list in 2008 in a move to try and promote dialogue over its weapons programmes.

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