North Korea: State Sponsor of Terrorism? (Taken Question)
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Answer: The standards for designating a country as a state sponsor and rescinding the designation are set out in the three separate statutes: Section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act (22 USC 2371), Section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 USC 278), and Section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act (50 USC app 2405(j)). All three statutes provide for the Secretary of State the authority to designate countries the governments of which “repeatedly provide support for acts of international terrorism.” Therefore, the Secretary of State must determine that the government of North Korea has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism. The United States will follow the provisions of the law as the facts warrant, and if information exists which indicates that North Korea has repeatedly provided support for acts of terrorism, the Department will take immediate action. As a general matter, a state military attack on a military target would not be considered an act of international terrorism.