President Trump Adds North Korea to State Sponsors of Terrorism List

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un inspects a metal casing at an undisclosed location.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump Adds North Korea to State Sponsors of Terrorism List

United States President Donald Trump announced on November 20 that America has designated North Korea as a terrorism-sponsoring nation. During a public meeting at the White House, he said, “Today the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago.”

The designation comes with new sanctions and penalties on the North Korean government and is designed to increase pressure on the nation’s illegal nuclear and missile programs. “This designation … supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime,” Trump said.

Take Two

The move marks the second time Washington has designated North Korea as a state sponsor of terror. The Reagan administration did so in 1987 after the North bombed Korean Air Flight 858, killing all 115 people on board. In 2008, the administration of President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in exchange for promises of progress on talks about denuclearization.

The attempt to engage North Korea has failed abysmally, and President Trump put the nation back on the list.

To justify the designation, Trump said the North has “repeatedly” sponsored terrorist acts, including “assassinations on foreign soil.” The most high profile of such assassinations occurred in February when North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un had his half-brother Kim Jong-nam killed with illegal VX nerve agent in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.

North Korea’s cyberattacks, such as the massive hack against Sony in 2014, were also cited as examples of international terrorism.

Evidence also shows that North Korea has abducted individuals from Japan, South Korea, the U.S. and Canada. In the case of Japan, authorities say that over the years, North Korean operatives have abducted more than 800 of their children. The regime of dictator Kim Jong-un is known to torture its captives, as was made plain in June when North Korea returned a comatose American college student to his parents.


Although the move to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terror is considered to be largely symbolic, it includes some practical measures. The listing comes with sanctions against Pyongyang’s ability to receive U.S. foreign aid and a ban on arms-related exports and sales. It also expands the ability of the U.S. to penalize individuals or nations who trade with North Korea in forbidden sectors.

Thae Yong-ho, a former senior North Korean diplomat who defected to South Korea last year, said he expects the move to have positive effects, saying that “it will be easier to drive [the Kim regime] from global financial systems and convince other world partners to detect the channels North Korea uses to fund its nuclear development.”

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that while the practical effects of the designation “may be limited,” it could allow the U.S. to close off “a few loopholes.”

A Short List With a Common Thread

North Korea joins only three other nations that the United States has officially designated as state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Syria and Sudan.

Iran’s influence over Syria is well known, and it has also been shown to have considerable sway over Sudan.

North Korea, too, has been known to work closely with Iran. Both rogue nations have demonstrated that they are bent on changing the global status quo. And there is no shortage of evidence showing that, in pursuit of their shared desire, Pyongyang and Tehran have worked together in their development of nuclear weapons.

Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has said that North Korea’s involvement with Iran may be the area in which Pyongyang poses the greatest threat. In his booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door,’ Mr. Flurry writes:

Kim Jong-un shares his nuclear power with Iran, the number one terrorist-sponsoring nation in the world—by far! And Iran has a religious leader that is even more “bizarre in the extreme” [than Kim Jung-un]. … He believes that a nuclear catastrophe would even hasten the coming of his messiah to rule the world! … These two men have changed the nuclear equation in this world. They relish the idea of a nuclear war! This is not a fantasy!

From there, Mr. Flurry points to a Bible prophecy recorded in Matthew 24:21-22, which says a nuclear World War iii is coming soon: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.”

To understand how near this global conflict is, and the way it will be shortened before it extinguishes all life from the planet, request a free copy of Mr. Flurry’s booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’