The Latest on the U.S. declaration of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism (all times local):
Japan’s leader has welcomed America’s re-designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terror.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (SHIN’-zoh AH’-bay) tells reporters in Tokyo that Japan supports the move as a way to increase pressure on North Korea.
His statement Tuesday followed President Donald Trump’s announcement in Washington that the U.S. is putting North Korea on America’s terrorism blacklist. Trump said the designation is long overdue, and promised a new wave of sanctions as part of a maximum-pressure campaign.
Japan is increasingly nervous about North Korean advances in developing nuclear weapons. North Korea has sent missiles over Japan twice this year in tests into the Pacific.
The Trump administration is due to announce new sanctions on North Korea on Tuesday after declaring it a state sponsor of terrorism in the latest push to isolate the pariah nation.
North Korea on Monday joined Iran, Sudan and Syria on the terror blacklist, a largely symbolic step as the administration already has the authority to impose virtually any sanctions it wants on Kim Jong Un’s government over its nuclear weapons development.
As part of its “maximum pressure” campaign, President Donald Trump said the Treasury Department would impose more sanctions on North Korea and “related persons” starting Tuesday, without hinting who or what would be targeted. It is part of rolling effort to deprive Pyongyang of funds for its nuclear and missile programs and leave it internationally isolated.
“It will be the highest level of sanctions by the time it’s finished over a two-week period,” Trump said.
Associated Press Writer Ken Moritsugu in Tokyo contributed to this story.