US actions gain favour
22 November, 2017, 12:00 am
SEOUL – South Korea and Japan on Tuesday welcomed US President Donald Trump putting North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism, saying it would ramp up pressure on Pyongyang to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.
The designation, announced on Monday, allows the United States to impose more sanctions on Pyongyang, which is pursuing nuclear weapons and missile programs in defiance of UN Security Council sanctions.
“I welcome and support (the designation) as it raises the pressure on North Korea,” Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters on Tuesday, according to Kyodo news agency.
South Korea said it expected the listing to contribute to the peaceful denuclearisation of the North, adding it continued, along with the United States, to seek to bring North Korea to the negotiating table, the country’s foreign ministry said in a text message.
Mr Trump’s re-listing of North Korea as a sponsor of terrorism comes a week after he returned from a 12-day trip to Asia in which containing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions was a centerpiece of his discussions.
“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House.
“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.”
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also backed Mr Trump’s decision, saying the move was in line with international efforts to bring the rogue state to its senses.