By Lee Haye-ah
WASHINGTON, June 24 (Yonhap) -- The U.S. State Department accused North Korea on Wednesday of failing to take action for its past support of international terrorism.
In its annual Country Reports on Terrorism, the department said the U.S. redesignated North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism in November 2017 after determining that the North Korean government "repeatedly" provided support for acts of international terrorism.
In particular, it cited North Korea's implication in "assassination on foreign soil," an apparent reference to the murder of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's half brother at a Malaysian airport in 2017.
"The DPRK has also failed to take action to address historical support for acts of international terrorism," the report said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Examples cited in the report included North Korea's continued sheltering of four Japanese Red Army members wanted by the Japanese government for participating in a 1970 Japan Airlines hijacking.
The Japanese government also continues to seek a full accounting of the fate of Japanese nationals believed to have been abducted by North Korean state entities in the 1970s and 1980s, it said, noting that only five such abductees have been repatriated since 2002.
North Korea was first designated as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1988, primarily for its 1987 bombing of a South Korean airliner that killed all 115 people aboard.
In 2008, it was taken off the list in exchange for progress in denuclearization talks.
The report noted that Cuba, whose designation as a state sponsor of terrorism was rescinded in 2015, maintains "close and collaborative ties" with current holders of the title such as Iran and North Korea.
It also said that in February 2019, the State Department's counterterrorism rewards program, Rewards for Justice, offered rewards of up to US$5 million for information leading to the disruption of financial mechanisms of persons or entities supporting the illicit activities of the North Korean government, as well as the identification of persons involved in cyber crimes at the direction of the regime, respectively.
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