US should put NK back onto spon­sors of ter­ror list: re­port

The China Post - - GUIDE POST -

North Korea has in­creased its “ma­te­rial sup­port” for ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions and should be placed back on Amer­ica’s list of na­tions that are state spon­sors of ter­ror­ism, a re­port re­leased Mon­day said.

The Py­ongyang regime, at the time un­der the com­mand of Kim Jong Il, was taken off the list in 2008 un­der the pres­i­dency of Ge­orge W. Bush, who hoped to en­gage the reclu­sive na­tion in dia­logue.

But ac­cord­ing to the new re­port, writ­ten by North Korea ex­pert Joshua Stan­ton for the Com­mit­tee for Hu­man Rights in North Korea ( HRNK), Amer­ica’s stan­dards for defin­ing a state spon­sor of ter­ror are “vague and in­con­sis­tent.”

The re­port, ti­tled “Ar­se­nal of Ter­ror,” rec­om­mends that the U.S. Congress and State Depart­ment clar­ify the legal stan­dards that de­fine state spon­sor­ship of ter­ror­ism and con­sider re-list­ing North Korea as a spon­sor.

“Since 2008, North Korea has in­creased its use of ter­ror­ism as an in­stru­ment of state pol­icy, and also ap­pears to have in­creased its ma­te­rial sup­port for des­ig­nated ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions,” HRNK Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor Greg Scar­la­toiu said in a state­ment ac­com­pa­ny­ing the re­port’s re­lease.

“North Korea’s re­cent con­duct poses a par­tic­u­lar threat to hu­man rights ac­tivists and dis­si­dents in ex­ile. It has also re­peat­edly threat­ened the civil- ian pop­u­la­tion of South Korea and other na­tions, in­clud­ing the United States,” he added.

Amer­ica cur­rently lists Iran, Syria, Su­dan and Cuba as state spon­sors of ter­ror­ism, though it is ex­pected to re­move Cuba as part of a his­toric rap­proche­ment with the com­mu­nist is­land.

The re­port de­tails sev­eral in­stances of North Korea’s al­leged sup­port of ter­ror­ism.

In 2009, just one year af­ter it was re­moved from the black­list, there were sev­eral in­ter­cep­tions of North Korean ship­ments “to Iran and its ter­ror­ist clients (that) ev­i­denced the im­por­tance of North Korea’s role as a sup­plier of arms to ter­ror­ists backed by Iran,” the re­port states.

“News re­ports have

al­leged that th­ese arms were des­tined for Iran’s ter­ror­ist clients, in­clud­ing Hezbol­lah and Ha­mas,” Stan­ton writes in the re­port.

Stan­ton also de­tails sev­eral cy­ber­at­tacks that have been blamed on North Korea, in­clud­ing last year’s mas­sive hack of Sony Pic­tures.

Wash­ing­ton ac­cuses Py­ongyang of be­ing be­hind the hack that led to the re­lease of em­bar­rass­ing com­pany emails and caused Sony ex­ec­u­tives to halt the de­but of the film “The In­ter­view.”

The re­port de­scribes sev­eral other sus­pected North Korea cy­ber­at­tacks, in­clud­ing 35 that took place in 2009 against U.S. and South Korean gov­ern­ment and com­mer­cial web­sites.

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