Tillerson Indicates North Korea Sanctions Are Working, Explains Terror Designation

Just after President Donald Trump said he would designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson touted the president’s decision as part of a broader strategy that appeared to effectively pressure the rogue regime.

“This is all part of just continuing to turn this pressure up,” Tillerson said of the decision. He framed the designation as a way to hold North Korea accountable for actions that put the public at risk over the past several months.

While announcing the designation on Monday, Trump referenced North Korea’s assassinations on foreign soil as well as the former student, Otto Warmbier, who died after the regime detained him.

The designation would implement many accountability measures already applied through other sanctions, Tillerson said, but might deter third parties from engaging in activities with North Korea.

Trump’s decision came weeks after H.R. McMaster, his national security adviser, indicated the White House was weighing the terror designation, something that Warmbier’s father requested in September.

When asked whether the U.S.’s pressure campaign was effective, Tillerson said that he received many indicators of success, such as a drop in the regime’s revenue, but wasn’t sure if North Korea’s relative quiet over the past 60 days came in response to those sanctions.

“Is this the reason we haven’t had a provocative act in 60 days? I don’t want to suggest to you that I could say, but we’re hopeful this period will continue,” Tillerson said.

Watch Tillerson’s comments below, via Fox News.

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