- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Obama administration is considering a return of North Korea to its list of state sponsors of terrorism, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday.

“We’re going to look at it,” Mrs. Clinton told ABC’s “This Week” program. “There’s a process for it. Obviously, we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism.”

North Korea’s recent nuclear test and a series of missile launches have forced the Obama administration to look at taking a tougher approach to the already isolated communist country, she said.

Asked whether she had evidence of the North’s support for international terrorism, Mrs. Clinton said: “We’re just beginning to look at it. I don’t have an answer for you right now.”

Several senators last week wrote President Obama asking him to consider putting North Korea back on the list.

The Bush administration removed North Korea from the list in a bid to revive the faltering six-nation denuclearization talks that have broken down. North Korea also had promised at the time to dismantle its nuclear weapons facilities but has since refused to go forward with the dismantlement.

The impoverished Asian nation has been condemned internationally since its defiant nuclear test last month.

Mrs. Clinton said she has been in close communication with other countries on how to respond to North Korea’s increasing threat of aggression. She added that one “positive development” of North Korean saber rattling is that it has brought the other members of the six-party process — Japan, South Korea, China, Russia, the United States — closer to together.

The secretary also said that she was working with foreign ministers and the United Nations on how best to respond to North Korea. Possible U.N. options include additional economic sanctions and an arms embargo.

“We think we’re going to come out of this with a very strong resolution with teeth that will have consequences for the North Korean regime,” she said.

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