19 February 2017
According to media reports in the U.S., the apparent murder of Kim Jong-Nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un is strengthening bipartisan calls for the U.S. to relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.
The isolated Asian country was taken off this list nine years ago.
If North Korea is put back on the list, it would increase the country’s isolation, while potentially complicating any future diplomacy to halt its nuclear and missile programmes.
The U.S. kept North Korea on its terrorism blacklist for two decades after the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner killed 115 people.
But President George W Bush lifted the designation in 2008 to smooth the way for aid-for-disarmament negotiations. The concession proved of little value as the talks collapsed soon after and have yet to resume.
Currently, the U.S. considers only Iran, Sudan and Syria as terrorism sponsors.