The US is expected to provisionally remove North Korea from the State Department's list of state sponsors of terrorism, possibly as early as today, reports the Washington Post. It may be the Bush administration's last "carrot" to offer as diplomatic efforts to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program falter. Tensions between the nations mounted yesterday as North Korea barred inspectors from its nuclear facilities.
US officials have been pushing for a stringent process of verification, which North Korea is resisting. The US had initially discussed removing North Korea from the terror list in June, but didn't follow through because talks between the nations broke down. "This is an action-for-action process," said a State Department spokeswoman. "As North Korea meets its obligations, we are fully prepared to meet our obligations."