President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he will declare North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, the latest action against the rogue nation over its pursuit of nuclear weapons.
“Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism,” the president said, speaking to reporters ahead of his cabinet meeting, adding that the move “should have happened a long time ago.”
“In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump added, while also acknowledging Otto Warmbier, the college student who was detained in Pyongyang during a five-day trip and later died after being released to the U.S.
The Kim Jong Un-led nation had been previously designated a state sponsor of terrorism until 2008, when designation was rescinded. The administration had been reportedly considering reinstating North Korea for weeks.
According to the president, the new designation will also include more sanctions.
The president's announcement comes as North Korea continues to ratchet up tensions, including earlier on Monday when North Korea’s state-run newspaper warned that the U.S. would regret “letting such a depraved and stupid guy occupy the Oval Office.”
“A load of rubbish spouted by the old lunatic Trump during his recent visit to South Korea was a total of all nonsense and paradox so far.”
Trump has warned that he will not hesitate to “totally destroy” North Korea if needed.
Watch the president's statement below, via MSNBC.