U.S. senator demands conditions to removing N.K. from terrorism list


(NKeconWatch: Joshua over at OFK also has a contribution to this)

A senior U.S. senator introduced a resolution setting conditions for removing North Korea from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring nations, one of the key incentives offered for Pyongyang’s denuclearization.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) submitted Resolution 399 on Monday and so far has three co-sponsors.

The resolution urges the administration not to lift the designation until it can be demonstrated that North Korea is no longer engaged in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and no longer counterfeiting American currency.

It also demands proof that a North Korean ruling party bureau, believed to be running illicit financial activities including drug trafficking and counterfeiting, has been made inoperable.

The senator also demands that the terrorist-nation designation remain until all U.S. overseas missions have been instructed to facilitate asylum applications by North Koreans seeking protection as refugees.

North Korea was put on the list in January 1988, soon after its agents blew up a South Korean civilian aircraft. Brownback’s resolution demands North Korea’s accounting of Japanese nationals abducted by the North as well as of surviving South Korean prisoners of war.

“If the United States takes the step of removing North Korea from the terrorism list, let’s at least make clear the conditions for such a removal,” Brownback said, adding, “I question the merits of the State Department’s decision to remove North Korea from its terrorist list.”

“It is important that the United States sends a loud and clear message to the North Korean regime that we will remain vigilant,” he said.

Delisting North Korea is one of the key benefits the U.S. offered in return for Pyongyang’s disablement of its core nuclear facilities and full disclosure of its atomic programs, the steps toward full dismantlement agreed on by six nations — South and North Korea, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan.
Getting off the list would free North Korea from a number of restrictions prohibiting meaningful economic and political assistance and exchange from the U.S. and the international community.

In Seoul, a Foreign Ministry official expressed concerns the resolution, if passed, could undermine progress in the nuclear disarmament talks, but said it did not pose any immediate threats to the six-nation deal on the denuclearization of the North.

“Delisting North Korea does not depend on the resolution, but whether the North fully discloses its nuclear programs,” the official, who is deeply involved with the nuclear talks, said, asking not to be identified. “Obviously, nothing has been changed so far. The U.S. administration can still delist the North if and whenever it chooses to.”


Comments are closed.