Trump’s North Korea policy keeps getting worse:

The United States is imposing further sanctions and penalties against North Korea by designating it a state sponsor of terrorism, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday.

Putting North Korea back on the list of state sponsors of terrorism is a bad decision on the merits, and it will also make it more difficult to de-escalate the situation with North Korea. North Korea hasn’t been a state sponsor of terrorism for decades, and it was removed from the list of state sponsors in recognition of that fact. Designating them as a state sponsor was a lousy idea when Ted Cruz proposed it a few weeks ago, and it is still a lousy idea today. As I said last month:

It is dangerous to add states to the list just because we see it as a way to lean on their governments, because that makes the designation meaningless and arbitrary.

Imposing additional sanctions on North Korea isn’t going to make their government more cooperative on any other issues. Sanctioning another state for behavior that it doesn’t engage in is an absurd way to get “tough” with them. It is a perfect example of imposing sanctions just for the sake of imposing them. There is no way for North Korea to improve its behavior to get these sanctions lifted in the future, because it isn’t doing what it is accused of doing. Sanctioning them for something they haven’t done creates a perverse incentive for them to start doing just that.