Tags: Korea | Blasts | U.S. | Over | Terrorist | Label

N. Korea Blasts U.S. Over Terrorist Label

Thursday, 03 May 2001 12:00 AM

The U.S. State Department this week published its annual list of countries Washington accuses of sponsoring terrorism, which again includes North Korea along with six other countries.

"This is a provocative criminal move of the Bush administration to internationally isolate the Democratic People's Republic of (North) Korea, pursuant to its undisguised hostile policy towards the DPRK," the state-run Korean Central News Agency said in a commentary.

"The DPRK has clarified more than once its principle and stand on opposing all forms of terrorism and has put them into practice," the foreign news outlet said. The U.S. move is aimed at putting political and military pressure on North Korea and concealing its "true colors as the kingpin of international terrorism," it said.

"The United States is well advised to have its terrorists' hands stained with blood washed before taking issue with others," it warned. Being on the list, North Korea is barred from receiving all but humanitarian aid and getting loans from international financial institutions heavily influenced by Washington.

The cash-strapped North has applied for membership in the Asian Development Bank in a bid to get much-needed loans, but its efforts were frustrated because the United States, the bank's biggest shareholder, has ruled out even observer status unless North Korea addresses terrorism concerns.

Last week, the North Korea was again refused observer status in the ADB's annual assembly. U.S. officials rejected to grant visas to North Koreans wishing to visit Honolulu where the Manila-based ADB will hold this year's assembly May 9-11.

North Korea was put on the list after it was found to have been involved in the 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner in which 115 passengers and crew perished. The North has repeatedly called for the United States to remove it from the worldwide list. But Washington has demanded Pyongyang first address international concerns of its long-range ballistic missile development program and hand over for trial members of a Japanese Red Army faction who participated in the hijacking of a Japanese Airlines flight in 1970.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il told media chiefs from South Korea last August that he was ready to open ties with the United States if it removes from North Korea the label of terrorist nation.

During U.S. President Bill Clinton last months in office, Washington and Pyongyang held a series of high-level talks over the possibility of removing the North from the list. In October, the two sides released a joint communique in which the North said it opposes all forms of terrorism. In return, Washington hinted at its willingness to remove the country from the list.

Analysts here said the terrorism issue is the key block to rapprochement between the two countries.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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The U.S. State Department this week published its annual list of countries Washington accuses of sponsoring terrorism, which again includes North Korea along with six other countries. This is a provocative criminal move of the Bush administration to internationally...
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2001-00-03
Thursday, 03 May 2001 12:00 AM
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