The China Daily cites Chinese experts stating that removing North Korea from its terror list reflects the Bush administration's strong wish to seek a final settlement of the issue before President Bush steps down.
"The US administration has been working on this issue for years and doesn't want to see it remain unresolved when Bush leaves office early next year," Fan Jishe, a senior researcher on US studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said. Given these circumstances, removing Pyongyang from the terror blacklist was Washington's only choice, he said.
The Asahi Shimbun reports that Japanese officials were caught off guard by the timing of the U.S. decision on Saturday to remove North Korea from its list of states that sponsor terrorism.
It also dealt a blow to Prime Minister Taro Aso, who was informed of the matter by Washington just 30 minutes before the announcement.
It predicts that the U.S. action will likely complicate efforts to achieve progress on the thorny issue of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang and even shake Tokyo's trust in Washington, its key ally.