By Eric Zimmermann | Updated: 06/07/09 1:15 PM [ET] - 06/07/09 01:15 PM EDT
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned the U.S. may reinstate North Korea to the state sponsors of terrorism list because of its “belligerent” behavior.
“We're going to look at it,” Clinton said on ABC’s This Week. “There's a process for it. Obviously, we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism.”
Several lawmakers—most recently fifteen Republican senators led by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)--have pushed for the State Department to add the communist regime to the list in response to North Korea’s recent nuclear test and missile launches.
Clinton said North Korea’s actions have brought China and Russia closer to the U.S. position. Those two countries previously have taken a less aggressive stance against North Korean actions. Clinton said this spells trouble for North Korea.
“We think we're going to come out of this with a very strong resolution with teeth that will have consequences for the North Korean regime,” Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week,” her first Sunday morning show appearance since becoming Secretary of State.
Clinton said a number of sanctions were on the table, from cutting off the regime’s money flow to interdicting North Korean ships. She warned that a failure to act would have repercussions for the region.
“If we do not take significant and effective action against the North Koreans now, we'll spark an arms race in Northeast Asia,” Clinton warned. “I don't think anybody wants to see that.”
Clinton said she is doing all she can to secure the safe return of two U.S. journalists who are being tried in North Korea, but the secretive nature of the regime makes intricate diplomacy difficult.
“We have gotten some responses, but we're not sure exactly who's going to be making this decision and what the reasons for the eventual decision are,” Clinton said, adding that the impasse over the journalists was a humanitarian issue distinct from the flare-up over the regime’s nuclear test.
Also in the interview, Clinton defended President Obama’s call for an end to Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank despite reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netenyahu thinks such a move would threaten his government’s survival.
“We are setting forth our views,” Clinton said. “Obviously, decisions about how to go forward are up to the Israelis and the Palestinians. But I think it is an appropriate role for the United States --and, certainly, it is what the president has decided--to make clear some of the obstacles he sees.”
This story was updated at 1:15 p.m.