Last week, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking that North Korea be relisted as a state sponsor of terrorism. This request comes in light of North Korea's well documented list of provocative actions against other countries, the recent failed rocket launch as well as rumors that a nuclear test is imminent. Text of the letter is provided below:
Dear Secretary Clinton:
The recent attempt by the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea to launch an Unha-3 rocket into orbit presents an opportunity and obligation for the United States to make a statement that it will not tolerate such provocative actions. The failure of the North Korea rocket launch will put pressure on their leadership to take even more aggressive action, such as testing a nuclear weapon or another military attack. For this reason, I urge the administration to send a message to the international community by relisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism as soon as possible.
Currently, the State Department has designated four countries as state sponsors of terrorism: Syria, Cuba, Sudan, and Iran, with North Korea being delisted in October 2008. Since that time, it seems that North Korea has done little to earn the distinction of a country that intends to peacefully reintegrate itself into the international community.
North Korea has clearly provided support for acts of international terrorism and pursuant to section 6(j) of the Export Administration Act, section 40 of the Arms Export Control Act, and section 620A of the Foreign Assistance Act, should be relisted as a state sponsor of terrorism. U.S. code defines international terrorism as activities that: 1) involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State; 2) intimidate or coerce a civilian population; 3) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.
Since being delisted as a state sponsor of terrorism, North Korea sunk the South Korean Patrol ship Cheonan killing 46 sailors, attempted to assassinate high-level defector Hwang Jang-Yop who was residing in South Korea, attempted to provide Hamas and Hezbollah with rockets and rocket propelled grenades, fired artillery rounds at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong killing two Marines and two civilians, and collaborated with Iran on weapons programs. In addition, just prior to being delisted, North Korea assisted Syria in building a nuclear reactor according to the United States intelligence community.
Furthermore, it seems that Kim Jong Un, the newly bestowed leader of North Korea, has no intention of working with the United States. For example, in February 2012, it was announced that North Korea would suspend operations at its Yongbyon uranium enrichment plant and potentially place moratoriums on nuclear testing in exchange for 240,000 metric tons of food from the United States. However, less than a month later, North Korea announced the launch of a new rocket thereby negating any agreement between our two countries.
On Friday April 13, 2012, the Obama administration compared its policies towards North Korea with that of the Bush administrations. White House spokesman Ben Rhodes said "Under the previous administration, for instance, there was a substantial amount of assistance provided to North Korea. North Korea was removed from the terrorism list, even as they continued to engage in provocative actions." I agree with the Obama administration's assessment that it was a mistake to remove North Korea despite their provocative actions. However, it is now in your hands to condemn this action, fix a previous administration's mistake, and declare North Korea in no uncertain terms as a state sponsor of terrorism.
I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to working with you.
Member of Congress