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Rex Tillerson says U.S. might put North Korea back on state sponsors of terror list

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that the Trump administration is reviewing whether to relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism.

“We’re reviewing all of the status of North Korea, both in terms of state sponsorship of terrorism as well as all the other ways in which we can bring pressure to bear on the regime in Pyongyang to re-engage, but re-engage with us on a different footing than the past talks have been held. So yes, we are evaluating all of those options,” Tillerson told reporters at the State Department.

The Bush administration had removed North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2008 after North Korea agreed to continue disabling a plutonium plant and permit access for inspections to verify that it froze its nuclear program.

Countries that appear on the list are those that the secretary of state has determined to have repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism, the State Department says. Sanctions result from the designation, which include a ban on defense exports and sales, financial restrictions, and restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance, according to the department.

Currently, there are three countries on the state: Iran, Sudan and Syria.

Tillerson’s remarks come after North Korea tested a missile over the weekend that blew up immediately. The U.S. had been considering military options over North Korea’s nuclear program.

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