A CNN guest compared labeling North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism to calling news you don’t like “fake news” Tuesday.
Tom Countryman, a former State Department official, said, “I support what is the administration’s declared policy of maximum pressure in engagement with North Korea. We’ve seen maximum pressure. It’s a good idea to put on additional sanctions that target shipping and trading firms connected with North Korea. I haven’t seen the maximum engagement.”
“Instead, I’ve seen the president undercut Secretary Tillerson’s efforts at engagement. The new designation, or re-designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism is a form of pressure,” Countryman continued.
“But it is, I think, based on the wrong premise. If you call every bit of news you don’t like ‘fake news,’ then it’s easy to call everybody that you don’t like a state sponsor of terrorism. But there’s no new evidence or additional evidence that justifies that, and it simply conflates terrorism with anything that we don’t like. So, I think it’s not an appropriate use of the law and of the president’s power. We have other means to keep up sanctions and other pressure on North Korea. What we need to do is to actually engage North Korea, to find a way to begin what will certainly be a very long and difficult dialogue.”