The US is reportedly considering placing North Korea back on the state sponsors of terror list, according to The Wall Street Journal.
An unnamed senior Obama administration official had told the WSJ that the US was seriously considering adding North Korea back onto the terror list.
North Korea had been listed as a state sponsor of terror for almost 20 years until 2008. The administration of president George W. Bush removed Pyongyang from the list in an attempt to jumpstart flagging negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear program.
If added back onto the terror list, North Korea would find itself in the company of Iran, Sudan, and Syria. Being on the terror list limits a country’s ability to secure international financing and credit through organizations such as the World Bank.
The FBI released a statement today naming North Korea as the primary culprit for the Sony hack. The hack was followed by threats to carry out terror attacks against theaters that screened “The Interview.” In his end of the year press conference, president Barack Obama stated that the US was not looking at any other state sponsors involved in the attack, and has singled out North Korea for the incident.
Secretary of State John Kerry has also released a press statement condemning North Korea’s role in the attacks.
“Freedom of expression is at the center of America’s values and a founding principle of our Bill of Rights,” Kerry noted. “We’re a country where artists openly mock and criticize the powerful, including our own government.”
Kerry went on to state that the attack signals North Korea’s indifference to international norms.
“We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this state sponsored cyber-attack targeting a commercial entity and its employees in the United States,” Kerry said. “These lawless acts of intimidation demonstrate North Korea’s flagrant disregard for international norms.”
Kerry also called upon “our allies and partners to stand with us as we defend the values of all of our people in the face of state-sponsored intimidation.”
The threats of attacks led to cinemas declining to screen the film. Ultimately, Sony decided to pull “The Interview” from all outlets and has no current plans to release the movie in any form.