North Korea: Terrorism List Removal? [Updated December 11, 2007]   [open pdf - 145KB]

"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 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 U.S. concessions, including removing North Korea from the U.S. terrorism-support list. In late 2006 and early 2007, the Bush Administration reportedly offered North Korea removal from the U.S. terrorism list if North Korea agreed to end its nuclear programs. U.S. and North Korean diplomats negotiated much of the Six Party Nuclear Agreement, which was signed on February 13, 2007. That agreement specified that the United States and North Korea would begin to negotiate a process of removal of North Korea from the terrorism list. In August-September 2007, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill apparently made promises to North Korea's chief negotiator to remove North Korea as part of the process to implement Phase Two of the February 2007 nuclear agreement.[…]Phase II requires North Korea to allow the 'disablement' of its plutonium facilities at Yongbyon and to issue a declaration of its nuclear programs. The Bush Administration increasingly took the position that the issue of North Korea's kidnapping of Japanese citizens was not linked to removing North Korea from the terrorism list, from the standpoint of U.S. law or policy. The Japanese government objected to this position. The State Department continued to declare that North Korea had not committed a terrorist act since 1987, but contrary reports from reputable sources described recent North Korean programs to provide arms and training to Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, two groups on the U.S. list of international terrorist organizations."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL30613
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