Posted June. 30, 2010 12:59,
The U.S. State Department said Tuesday that North Koreas sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan does not justify putting the North back on the U.S. terrorist blacklist.
It is our judgment that the sinking of the Cheonan is not an act of international terrorism and by itself would not trigger placing North Korea on the U.S. state (sponsors) of terrorism list, said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley in a regular news briefing.
Washington had been considering putting the North back on the blacklist based on requests by Congress since a South Korea-led investigation concluded that a North Korean torpedo sank the naval corvette March 26.
In our view, it was a provocative action but one taken by the military of a state against the military of another state, Crowley said. That, in our view, does not constitute an act of international terrorism.
It certainly is a violation of the existing armistice between North and South. And we are obviously seeking a meeting with North Korean officials to discuss that. I think theres been some reporting that North Korea has, at least for the moment, declined to participate in that meeting, he added.
He also said that discussing violations to the armistice in the Demilitarized Zone is a procedure set by the armistice, which halted fighting in Korean War.
Saying Washington will continue to watch Pyongyangs exports of weapons and dangerous technologies, Crowley said, We will not hesitate to take action if we think that there are actions that North Korea has taken which do, in fact, demonstrate a consistent support for international terrorism.
He also urged the North to stop its provocative actions, improve relations with its neighbors, and take positive measures toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.
The U.S. removed North Korea from the terrorist blacklist in October 2008 after Pyongyang reported its nuclear facilities in Yongbyon under an agreement reached at the six-party talks.