North Korea says USA terror sponsor label a 'serious provocation'

North Korea- Trump tweets could force Kim to tougher position

GETTY NBC NEWSNorth Korea could adopt a tougher stance if President Trump persists with his rhetoric

The announcement delivered via the state media KCNA was the first official response to the sanctions which targeted one individual, 13 companies and 20 vessels, the USA says are engaged in millions of dollars worth of trade with North Korea. The response came shortly after China, the North's sole ally, also rejected as "wrong" new USA sanctions that targeted Chinese companies doing business with the pariah state.

The world's second-largest economy bought goods worth $90.75 million from North Korea in October, down sharply from $145.8 million in September and the lowest on government records going back to January 2014, data from China's General Administration of Customs shows.

The U.S. first put North Korea on the terror sponsor list for the 1987 bombing of a South Korean commercial plane, which killed all 115 people aboard. That would close one of the widest loopholes in the efforts to isolate the regime.

U.S. President Donald Trump's re-listing of North Korea this week as a state-sponsor of terrorism - a largely symbolic move - and the announcement of tightened sanctions on Tuesday were generally welcomed by analysts as stepped-up pressure on Pyongyang to give up its nuclear and missile programs.

"We hope the relevant parties will do more to help deescalate tensions and come back to the track of peacefully resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation".

"We'll have to see what other states do, if they take similar measures or if they reassess their relationship or if they suspend any kinds of economic relations, which we've seen some states doing anyway", he said, pointing to Singapore and the Philippines as examples.

"There is a very specific designation progress that we have to go through at the State Department to meet the criteria for the designation".

So far, five countries - Mexico, Peru, Kuwait, Spain and Italy - have kicked out North Korean ambassadors. The administration has worked to cut worldwide trade ties with the totalitarian nation.

USA officials say Pyongyang is close to developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of striking the United States, and have vowed that a nuclear-armed North Korea will not be tolerated. This week, he mentioned long lines being formed at gas stations in the impoverished country.

Trump in restoring North Korea to the terror list criticized his predecessor, Barack Obama, for not having taken such a bold move during his eight years on office. He and Trump appeared to have gotten along quite well during Trump's recent visit - an occasion for him to call for strengthening South Korea's armed forces. China sent a special envoy, Song Tao, to the North last week but his four-day trip ended with no direct statement on the crisis, after Pyongyang's series of nuclear and missile tests triggered global alarm. Instead, the North Korean media has denounced President Trump in often insulting language to which Trump has responded in twitter messages insulting Kim Jong-Un.

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