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(LEAD) U.S. says N. Korea 'not cooperating fully' with counterterrorism efforts

All News 05:00 May 14, 2020

(ATTN: UPDATES with correct year, background in paras 2, 5)

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. State Department said Wednesday it has certified North Korea and four other countries as "not cooperating fully" with U.S. counter-terrorism efforts, banning the sale of defense items and services to these nations.

North Korea was first placed on the list in 1997 under the Arms Export Control Act, and has remained on it every year since then. The other four countries for 2019 are Iran, Syria, Venezuela and Cuba.

This AFP file photo shows the U.S. Department of State in Washington. (Yonhap)

"In 2019, four Japanese individuals who participated in the 1970 hijacking of a Japan Airline flight continued to live in the DPRK," the department said in a press release, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The Japanese government also continued to seek a full account of the fate of 12 Japanese nationals believed to have been abducted by DPRK state entities in the 1970s and 1980s," it said, adding that Congress was notified of the certification on Tuesday.

The designation is unlikely to have major consequences as North Korea is already under multiple layers of U.S. and international sanctions banning arms trade with the communist nation.

Separately, North Korea is designated by the U.S. as a state sponsor of terrorism.


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