Trump declares North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism

Kim Jong-un 'punishes top military officials for

Kim Jong-un 'punishes top military officials for "impure behaviour"'

In the latest round in the war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, North Korea has called the US President an "old lunatic" and said America will regret "letting such a depraved and stupid guy occupy the Oval Office".

An undated image distributed by the North Korean government on September 3, 2017, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location.

Monday's announcement comes a little less than a week after Trump returned from a 12-day trip to Asia, where North Korea was at the top of his agenda. It should have happened a long time ago.

The North had been designated for two decades until 2008 when it was removed in a bid to salvage worldwide talks aimed at halting its nuclear efforts.

Other analysts said Pyongyang could use the designation as a pretext for renewed weapons tests after a two-month hiatus.

"Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism", Trump said.

North Korea would join Iran, Sudan and Syria on the list of state sponsors of terror.

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That fuelled geopolitical uncertainty, raising demand for safe-haven gold as market participants feared that North Korea could retaliate should Washington respond with new sanctions on the isolated nation. His death caused outrage in the United States and further inflamed tensions with Pyongyang.

U.S. student Warmbier died this year, aged 22, after he was repatriated from detention in North Korea, already in a coma. According to the White House press pool's report, Trump assured that the sanctions will be "the highest level" yet imposed on North Korea.

In any case, it will do little to open the way for US dialogue with North Korea, which China, Pyongyang's No. 1 ally, and others have been pushing for.

George W. Bush originally designated North Korea as a terrorism sponsor, but removed Pyongyang in 2008 in an effort to broker a nuclear deal.

Relations between the US and North Korea have been fraught ever since President Trump took office.

Leaning into the likelihood that Trump would decide to reinstate North Korea's spot on the list, a senior administration official told reporters that taking North Korea off the list "was one of the things that a previous administration lifted.as part of a hopeful attempt to lure them into reversing the threat".

US financial institutions are already banned from engaging in business with people or entities associated with the North Korean government.

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