Image: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
J. Scott Applewhite  /  AP
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton answers questions during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Friday, June 5, at the State Department in Washington.
updated 6/7/2009 1:13:55 PM ET 2009-06-07T17:13:55

The U.S. is considering adding North Korea back to a list of state sponsors of terrorism, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in an interview broadcast Sunday after President Barack Obama pledged "a very hard look" at tougher measures because of the North's nuclear stance.

The communist country has conducted recent nuclear and missile tests, and there are concerns about the North's shipping nuclear material to other nations.

Obama's strong language on North Korea appeared to point toward nonmilitary penalties such as financial punishments, either within the United Nations or by Washington alone. Obama made the comments Saturday during his visit to France.

The Bush administration agreed to remove North Korea from the U.S. list of terrorist states after the North said it would dismantle its nuclear weapons facilities. It later refused to go forward with the dismantlement.

Clinton was asked on ABC's "This Week" about a letter that some senators wrote Obama about returning North Korea to that list.

"We're going to look at it. There's a process for it," Clinton said in the interview, taped Thursday in Egypt. "Obviously we would want to see recent evidence of their support for international terrorism."

She added, "We're just beginning to look at it. I don't have an answer for you right now."

North Korea, she said, was "taken off of the list for a purpose and that purpose is being thwarted by their actions."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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