N. Korea ac­cuses CIA, S. Korea of plot­ting to kill Kim Jong Un

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - SI­MON DENYER

SEOUL, KOREA, REPUB­LIC OF — North Korea on Fri­day ac­cused the U.S. and South Korean spy agen­cies of an un­suc­cess­ful as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt on leader Kim Jong Un in­volv­ing bio­chem­i­cal weapons.

In a state­ment car­ried on state me­dia, North Korea’s Min­istry of State Se­cu­rity said it will “fer­ret out and mer­ci­lessly de­stroy” the “ter­ror­ists” in the CIA and South Korean in­tel­li­gence agency re­spon­si­ble for tar­get­ing its supreme lead­er­ship.

North Korea fre­quently lam­bastes the United States and South Korea, but its ac­cu­sa­tion Fri­day was un­usual in its de­tail.

The min­istry said the spy agen­cies in June 2014 “ide­o­log­i­cally cor­rupted and bribed” a North Korean cit­i­zen who was work­ing in Rus­sia to carry out the al­leged as­sas­si­na­tion on Kim after re­turn­ing home.

It said South Korean agents gave money and satellite com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment to the North Korean to at­tack Kim dur­ing a pub­lic event us­ing a bio­chem­i­cal weapon such as a de­layed-ac­tion ra­dioac­tive or “nano poi­sonous” sub­stance.

The min­istry said after a se­ries of con­tacts and pay­ments, the agents told the North Korean last month that the type of bio­chem­i­cal sub­stance had been de­cided and would be sup­plied by the CIA.

The state­ment, car­ried by North Korea’s of­fi­cial news agency and read on state TV, didn’t de­scribe how the al­leged plot was bro­ken up or give the full name of the North Korean sus­pect, iden­ti­fy­ing him only by his sur­name, Kim, and didn’t say whether any­one else was in cus­tody.

In Wash­ing­ton, the CIA de­clined to comment, and of­fi­cials at South Korea’s Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Ser­vice did not an­swer re­peated phone calls.

The al­leged plan to use a bio­chem­i­cal agent on a mem­ber of North Korea’s rul­ing fam­ily re­sem­bles the as­sas­si­na­tion ear­lier this year of Kim Jong Un’s ex­iled half brother at a Malaysian air­port.

That at­tack, us­ing the chem­i­cal war agent VX, was widely blamed on North Korea and led to calls in the United States to relist the North as a state spon­sor of ter­ror­ism. North Korea de­nied in­volve­ment.

In the state­ment Fri­day, the min­istry said in re­sponse to the al­leged plot on Kim Jong Un, a “Kore­anstyle anti-ter­ror­ist at­tack will be com­menced from this mo­ment to sweep away the in­tel­li­gence and plot-breed­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions of the U.S. im­pe­ri­al­ists and the pup­pet clique,” re­fer­ring to South Korea.

The min­istry de­manded that the United States and South Korea apol­o­gize and ex­e­cute the in­tel­li­gence agents in­volved in the “heinous” plot.

The North Korean state­ment comes dur­ing a pe­riod of ten­sion on the Korean Penin­sula over con­cerns that the North is pre­par­ing an­other nu­clear test or mis­sile launch, in­clud­ing a pos­si­ble test of an in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile.

Such moves would be a step to­ward the coun­try’s goal of de­vel­op­ing nu­clear-armed mis­siles ca­pa­ble of reach­ing the U.S. main­land.

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