North Korea on Wednesday blasted President Trump’s decision to relist the country as a state sponsor of terrorism, calling the move a “serious provocation and violent infringement.”
Citing the North Korean state-run news agency KCNA, Reuters reported that a spokesman for the reclusive Asian nation’s foreign ministry denied that Pyongyang has engaged in or sponsored acts of terrorism.
“As long as the U.S. continues with its anti-DPRK hostile policy, our deterrence will be further strengthened,” he said, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“The U.S. will be held entirely accountable for all the consequences to be entailed by its impudent provocation to the DPRK,” he added.
The comments came two days after Trump moved to redesignate North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, allowing Washington to impose further penalties on the heavily sanctioned country.
According to Reuters, the North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said that the designation was “just a tool for American style authoritarianism that can be attached or removed at any time in accordance with its interests.”
North Korea was removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism in 2008 by then-President George W. Bush, who removed the designation in an effort to try to preserve a deal to denuclearize the country at the time.
Trump faced renewed pressure to put North Korea back on that list earlier this year, after an American college student, Otto Warmbier, died days after returning to the U.S. from North Korea, where he had been held prisoner for over a year.
Trump has engaged in a sporadic and ongoing war of words with Pyongyang as North Korea sought earlier this year to step up its weapons testing.