North Korea’s state media have turned the tables on the United States, accusing America of being the “world’s biggest terrorist sponsor” after the State Department officially issued that label to the rogue communist state.
The State Department issued an announcement this week that North Korea would return to its State Sponsor of Terrorism list due to its consistent record of human rights abuses and violent and illegal activity outside of its borders, such as the suspected assassination of Kim Jong-nam, dictator Kim Jong-un’s brother, and the policy of abducting Japanese citizens it has kept in place for decades.
“It is the height of shamelessness and a serious politically-motivated provocation for the U.S. to brand the DPRK as a ‘terrorist sponsor’ even though it is censured as the biggest terrorist sponsor on our planet,” the North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun railed on Thursday.
“Terrorism is what makes the rogue state U.S. exist, … [and] the U.S. is the biggest terrorist sponsor and the biggest state-sponsored terrorist universally recognized by the international community,” it continued, according to a summary in the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), another outlet.
Echoing claims by another prominent dictator – Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei – the Rodong Sinmun alleged that “the terrorist organizations throwing the world into uneasiness and horror came into existence at the hands of the U.S.” Khamenei has repeatedly accused the United States and Israel of creating the Islamic State.
Rodong Sinmun goes on to accuse America of “such brigandish act [sic] as assassinating a state leader in broad daylight,” without elaborating.
“The world people shudder at the terrorist crimes committed by the U.S. against the DPRK,” it concludes.
On Friday, Rodong Sinmun described the Trump administration as a “pack of rabid dogs” and a “cult.”
The state newspaper has echoed the belligerent language of members of the Kim regime. In a statement this week, a spokesman for North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called America “the kingpin of all kinds of terrorism who cannot even prevent terror in its own territory” and the State Department designation an “absurdity and a mockery to the world peace and security.” The State Sponsor of Terrorism label, the spokesman argued, is “just a tool for American style authoritarianism that can be attached or removed at any time in accordance with its interests.”
President Donald Trump announced the return of North Korea to the state sponsors list this week, noting that the State Department had removed the regime in 2008 as part of a greater effort to engage the regime.
“Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago,” the president said, adding:
In addition to threatening the world by nuclear devastation, North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism, including assassinations on foreign soil. As we take this action today, our thoughts turn to Otto Warmbier … and the countless others so brutally affected by the North Korean oppression.
The family of Otto Warmbier, who died at age 22 after being arrested and tortured in North Korea, had vocally advocated for the return of North Korea to the state sponsors list.
North Korea initially responded to the announcement by demanding a “trial” against Trump.
Next week, Washington will welcome South Korea’s vice minister of reunification, Chun Hae-sung, to discuss ways to contain North Korea’s nuclear threat, according to newswire service Yonhap. Chun will meet multiple senior officials “to discuss ways to resolve North Korea’s nuclear problem and to bring peace to the divided Korean Peninsula,” officials in Seoul stated.
In addition to other illegal and violent activity, Pyongyang continues its work in developing nuclear weapons, violating international law.