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'Axis of Evil' redux? US mulls North Korea 'terrorist' listing

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Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton confirmed that the Obama administration is beginning to consider whether it wants to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

“We're going to look at it. There's a process for it. Obviously, we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism,” she said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We're just beginning to look at it.”

That process, however, would not be easy. North Korea has not been directly linked to an act of terrorism since 1987, when evidence pointed to a North Korean role in the bombing of a South Korean airliner. The bombing was seen as a protest against Seoul winning the 1988 Olympic Summer Games.

Since then, North Korea’s links to terrorism have mostly been in the area of nuclear proliferation – selling nuclear technology to Syria and Iran, which are both on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The Bush administration took North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terror last year as a carrot to induce the country to open its nuclear program to international scrutiny. To re-list it now would involve finding new proof of links with terrorist outfits.

Yet that is precisely what eight Republican senators would like to do. On Tuesday, they sent a letter to Secretary Clinton asking that the US again deem North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism.


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