European researchers claim to have identified North Korea's list of targets

AN UNHAPPY MAN — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Sungri Motor Complex in Pyeongannam-do. The North Koreans said President Trump’s decision to put North Korea back on a list of states that sponsor terrorism is a “serious provocation.”

The U.S. has opened a bold new assault on North Korea's nuclear-and-missile program with a one-two punch designating the North as a "state sponsor of terror" and then imposing new sanctions.

North Korea responded on Wednesday to U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to relist the county as a state sponsor of terrorism, calling it a "grave provocation and aggressive violation", North Korean state media reported.

According to a report in The Financial Chronicle, Air China has suspended flights to North Korea, further limiting the secretive state's links with the outside world, in what the government said was a business decision with no political motives.

The Republican president, who has traded personal insults with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un but has not ruled out talks, said the Treasury Department will announce additional sanctions against North Korea on Tuesday.

Trump said strong US sanctions "supports our maximum pressure campaign to isolate the murderous regime" - a claim that no one would deny. "But, it does not bring serious impacts to North Korea's economy".

US diplomats responsible for negotiating with the North Koreans in previous years were by and large supportive of strong sanctions - and also of calling North Korea a "terror state". And, according to United States officials, some Chinese-based banks and trading firms continue to do business with the North in defiance of UN sanctions and USA threats of unilateral measures. The U.S. has maintained North Korea must cease its program before negotiations can begin.


North Korea, however, deals commercially with China on a number of different levels, including trade across the river that is technically illegal.

The UN estimated the latest ban, imposed after its two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July, would slash by North Korea's $3-billion annual export revenue by a third.

"That's based on the assumption that the likelihood or the probability of returning to dialogue was high or the two sides were going to meet or there was going to be some diplomatic process that was going to be initiated", Pinkston said, "and that possibly North Korea would bargain in good faith to fulfill its previous non-proliferation commitments and work towards denuclearization, but I think that's unlikely", he said.

Trump's decision comes amid heightened nuclear tensions on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea joins Iran, Sudan, and Syria - the only countries designated by the U.S.as state sponsors of terrorism.

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