Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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North Korea blasts US terrorism blacklisting

Pyongyang pledges to further enhance its nuclear arms programme after being re-listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Kim Jong-un inspects a vehicle plant

North Korea has responded angrily to the United States re-listing it as a state sponsor of terrorism, calling the move a serious provocation.

Pyongyang also said on Wednesday that putting North Korea back on the terrorism blacklist will only strengthen its resolve to further develop the communist country's nuclear weapons programme.

"Our army and people are full of rage and anger towards the heinous gangsters who dared to put the name of our sacred country in this wretched list of 'terrorism'," the state-run Korean Central News Agency quoted an unidentified foreign ministry spokesman as saying.

Some analysts say Tuesday's move by the US administration of President Donald Trump is unlikely to deter the North from pursuing nuclear capabilities, and will only push any potential dialogue over de-nuclearisation further away.

The US removed North Korea from its list in 2008 in a move to try and promote dialogue over its weapons programmes.

READ MORE: North Korea threatens 'unimaginable strike' on US ship

The foreign ministry spokesman said the state sponsor of the terrorism label was "just a tool for American-style authoritarianism that can be attached or removed at any time in accordance with its interests".

"The US will be held entirely accountable for all the consequences to be entailed by its impudent provocation to the DPRK," he said, using the initials of its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Trump on Tuesday said North Korea was not only threatening the world with "nuclear devastation" but it also was responsible for repeatedly supporting "acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil".

Tensions between the US and North Korea have intensified since Trump took office in January. He has threatened to "totally destroy" the country if it threatens the US or its allies.

Pyongyang says it needs a nuclear deterrent to prevent a US invasion.

US officials say Pyongyang is close to developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of striking the US, and have vowed that a nuclear-armed North Korea will not be tolerated.

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