President Donald Trump says he is putting North Korea back on the small list of official “state sponsors of terrorism,” a move that could lead to additional sanctions against the nuclear-armed government.
Trump said the designation is part of a sanctions regime that would include “a very large” new sanction on Tuesday and increase in intensity over the next two weeks. By then, he said, sanctions would be at their highest level ever.
“It should have happened years ago,” Trump said at the start of a Cabinet meeting, calling North Korea “a murderous regime.”
Trump said that “in addition to threatening the world with nuclear devastation,” the North Korean government had sponsored terror on foreign soil.
“It must end its unlawful ballistic nuclear development,” he said.
U.S. officials cited the killing of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s estranged half brother in a Malaysian airport this year as an act of terrorism.
Most of the punishments that Washington could mete out under the state sponsor of terrorism legislation are already in place against North Korea, or are irrelevant since they would involve suspending aid programs that don’t exist.
North Korea joins only three other countries on the state-sponsor list: Iran, Sudan and Syria.
President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in 2008 in an unsuccessful bit to halt its nuclear weapons program, and President Barack Obama removed Cuba in 2015 when diplomatic relations were renewed.
Discussions to restore North Korea to the list began last year on Capitol Hill under the Obama administration.
President Donald Trump hands a pen to Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie during a spending bill signing ceremony at VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Las Vegas. (Associated Press/Evan Vucci)
The Trump administration wants to shift billions of dollars from government-run veterans' hospitals to private health care providers. That's true even though earlier this year the administration vehemently denied it would privatize any part of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The privatization of essential government services is nothing new, of course. Over the years, countries have privatized dozens of services and activities that were once the sole domain of governments, such as the provision of electricity and water, road operations and prisons and even health care, with the ostensible aim of making them more efficient.
But before going down that road, the question needs to be asked whether privatizing essential human services such as those for military veterans serves the public interest. New research we recently published suggests that privatization may come at a social cost.
The Coast Guard is officially shit outta luck for a paycheck thanks to the government shutdown, which means that zero coasties have been paid to create some of the amazing memes being shared as a way to vent their frustration.