North Korea Belongs on the List

In late 1987, a Korean Air flight traveling from Seoul, South Korea to Baghdad, Iraq, was bombed by North Korean agents killing all 115 people on board. This event, evidence of clear terrorist motives, prompted the Reagan Administration to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Today, the United States still grapples with the often unpredictable and volatile nature of North Korea and the regime of its dictator, Kim Jong-un. And earlier this week, President Trump made the decision to re-list North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, and promoted a new wave of tougher sanctions on the hermit state.

The list of state sponsors of terrorism began in 1979 and is managed by the U.S. Department of State. The nations that are placed on the list are alleged to have “repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism.” Although the list has remained small over the years, it has been a symbolic mark of heightened pressure on our enemies and a measure of heavy, unilateral sanctions. North Korea joins Iran, Sudan and Syria on the current list.


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