WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is considering a new tack in its efforts to counter the nuclear threat from North Korea: declaring the North a state sponsor of terrorism.

White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster cites the killing of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, as an act of terrorism.

The State Department is expected to decide next week whether North Korea meets the criteria.

Returning North Korea to the list of state sponsors of terrorism would be largely symbolic. The North is already heavily sanctioned for its nuclear and missile activity. Only three nations - Iran, Sudan and Syria - carry the designation.

President Donald Trump is expected to continue his sharp criticism of the North during his 12-day trip to Asia, which begins Friday.

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