WASHINGTON (AP) – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism is part of a push to continue “to turn the pressure up.”
Tillerson addressed reporters at the White House on Monday after President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. is putting North Korea on America’s terrorism blacklist.
Tillerson says the message to leader Kim Jong Un is that “this is only going to get worse until you’re ready to come and talk.”
Tillerson noted that it had been about two months since the country tested a missile. He says, “We’re hopeful this period will continue.”
President Donald Trump says he intends to declare North Korea a state sponsor of terror.
Trump said Monday that the designation will impose further penalties on the country. He called it a long overdue step and part of the U.S. “maximum pressure campaign” against the North.
The move returns North Korea to the list of countries the U.S. views as state sponsors of terror for the first time since 2008. That’s when the North was removed in a bid to salvage a deal to halt its nuclear development.
U.S. officials cited the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother in a Malaysian airport this year as an act of terrorism.
North Korea would join Iran, Sudan and Syria on the list of state sponsors of terror.
(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)