Opinion: Redeclaring North Korea a state sponsor of terror is well-deserved
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - The United States continues to put pressure on North Korea.
North Korea was originally added to the state sponsors of terror list by President Reagan in 1988 after North Korea organized the murder of four South Korean cabinet members in Burma and bombed a South Korean passenger flight, killing 115 passengers on board.
President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list as a carrot in enticing the country to stop its nuclear development and destabilizing actions.
That approach has simply not worked. Since then the North Koreans have conducted numerous nuclear tests along with showing off ballistic missile technology. North Korea’s hack of SONY movie studios and assassination of Kim Jong Un’s half brother Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia using a chemical agent are further recent examples of North Korea’s terroristic actions.
Importantly, President Trump brought up Otto Warmbier when announcing the designation. Otto was a U.S. college student arrested in North Korea and returned to the U.S. in a coma six days before passing away. Evidence suggests that North Korean authorities mistreated Otto while in custody.
A key to this designation is that it enables sanctions not only against those entities which do direct business with North Korea but also businesses and countries which do so indirectly. The goal is to convince countries like china and its related entities to cut off North Korea completely.
Here is the bottom line: the designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terror is well-deserved. This action is another important step in isolating the rogue state from the international community.