September 25, 2020

They’ve got a little list: Should NK go back on?

Relisting the DPRK as a terrorist state would hinder, not help, diplomacy

Ever since Washington fingered Pyongyang for Sony Hackgate – a culpability that some still query – there have been calls to put North Korea back on the “terraced” list. Terraced? That’s how Dubya used to say “terrorist”; remember nucular? So let’s put it properly and formally. The suggestion is that the U.S. should officially relist the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Yet at least one U.S. government think-tank doubts if this is a good idea. There is also a wider point. The State Department issues quite a few such lists, labeling other countries for this or that sin. Arrogant maybe, yet this exercise has its uses. But (surprise!) politics tends to creep in. Also, ironically, what was meant as a helpful tool can become a rod for their own backs.