US Department of State

North Korea's ambassador to the United Nations Han Tae Song says his country won't negotiate with the U.S> over its nuclear weapons ambitious

But US officials see the designation - lifted by then-president George W. Bush in 2008 - as a way of ratcheting up the pressure on Pyongyang and especially on other states that may be failing to fully enforce the sanctions already in place.

The president said new sanctions were on the way for North Korea, invoking, Otto Warmbier, an American college student who died days after his return to the US earlier this year.

The question of whether Trump would reinstall North Korea to the list hung over the President's recent Asia trip. Trump called Kim Jong-un's government a "murderous regime" supporting "acts of worldwide terrorism", and once again called on the nation to "end its unlawful nuclear and ballistic missile development" programs.

Trump said that North Korea has "repeatedly" sponsored acts of terrorism, including "assassinations on foreign soil".

Trump said Monday that the designation will impose further penalties on the country.

"Should have happened years ago", Trump declared, announcing the designation at the start of a White House cabinet meeting.

The hermit kingdom a communist dictatorship in the Far East has fired more than a dozen ballistic missile tests this year but none in the last few months
US Department of State

United Nations spokesperson Farhan Haq said the UN has "nothing to say" about the U.S. designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

In response, a state-run North Korean newspaper called Trump an "old lunatic" on Sunday and derided his visit to South Korea as "nonsense".

Designation under the above-referenced authorities also implicates other sanctions laws that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with state sponsors. Two women are on trial for poisoning Kim Jong-nam with VX gas in a Malaysian airport last February.

At the request of Warmbier's family, six Democratic and six Republican senators later urged the State Department to consider reinstating North Korea to the list. Former President Barack Obama removed Cuba from the list in 2015.

North Korea was put on the US terrorism sponsor list for the 1987 bombing of a Korean Air flight that killed all 115 people aboard.

The move is meant to curb Pyongyang's pursuit of nuclear weapons, but Mike Fuchs, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, tells Bustle that the designation is a "step backward" and will make diplomacy with North Korea more hard. It limits USA foreign assistance, bans defense exports and sales, boost limits on exports of dual-use items and affects financial transactions, according to the State Department.

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