Quick Take: Air China Grounds North Korea Route

Quick Take: Air China Grounds North Korea Route

Trump put North Korea back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism on Monday, a designation that allows the United States to impose more sanctions and risks inflaming tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programmes.

China, the North's sole ally, rejected the new sanctions as "wrong" on Wednesday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits the Sungri Motor Complex in Pyeongannam-do.

Cuba signaled support for North Korea in an escalating feud between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un over the country's nuclear weapons program and accusations of state-sponsored terrorism.

Few expect that the Kim regime will easily give in to outside pressure.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the latest sanctions shows "we are steadfast in our determination to maximize economic pressure to isolate it from outside sources of trade and revenue".

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. had expressed its willingness to negotiate with North Korea but had yet to receive a response from the North. The spokesperson noted that their actions included expulsion of North Korean workers and diplomats.

The US removed North Korea from the list back in 2008 as part of an effort to improve ties. Air China last cancelled flights to North Korea in April, citing low customer demand, but resumed them soon after.

In the country's first public response to its return to the American blacklist, the official Korean Central News Agency said North Korea has no connection to terrorism and does not care "whether the USA puts a cap of "terrorism" on us or not".

North Korea will re-join Iran, Sudan, and Syria who are in the US list of state terrorism, as these countries "repeatedly provided support for acts of worldwide terrorism".

North Korea seeks to instil doubts among those who think that it would not respond to strikes against its nuclear and missile sites out of a fear of escalation and, ultimately, regime collapse.

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