"The issue of North Korea's inclusion on the U.S. list of terrorism-supporting countries has arisen twice in recent U.S.-North Korean diplomacy. In 2000, North Korea demanded that the Clinton Administration remove North Korea from the terrorism-support list before North Korea would send a high level envoy to Washington and accept the Clinton Administration's proposal to begin negotiations with the United States over the North Korean missile program. In 2003, multilateral negotiations involving six governments began over North Korea's nuclear programs in the wake of North Korea's actions to terminate its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and the 1994 U.S.-North Korean Agreed Framework. In the six party talks, North Korea demanded that in return for a North Korean 'freeze' of its plutonium nuclear program, the United States agree to a number of concessions, including removing North Korea from the U.S. terrorism-support list. Administration policymakers could face a number of options which include (1) waiting, doing nothing, and retaining North Korea on both the 'state sponsors' of terrorism list and the nations 'not fully cooperating' list; (2) downgrading the DPRK to the 'not fully cooperating' category; (3) easing sanctions subject to presidential waiver; and (4) removing the DPRK from both lists. Congress would have a direct role in a removal of North Korea from the terrorism list, since the executive branch must notify Congress before actual removal and Congress would have the option to initiate legislation to block removal."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30613