NK accuses CIA of plan to kill Kim Jong-un

Source:AFP Published: 2017/5/6 0:08:39

Pyongyang claims to have foiled ‘vicious plot to attack supreme leader’

North Korea on Friday accused the CIA and Seoul's intelligence services of conspiring to assassinate the country's top leader Kim Jong-un with a biochemical weapon, amid heightened tensions in the region.

In a statement, the ministry of state security said it had foiled a "­vicious plot" by a "hideous terrorists' group" to attack the North's "supreme leadership."­

The accusations come with the US and North trading threats over the latter's nuclear and missile programs, and as Washington considers whether to re-designate Pyongyang as a state sponsor of terrorism.

The security ministry statement, carried on the North's official Korea Central News Agency, said the CIA and the South's intelligence had suborned, bribed and blackmailed a North Korean citizen named only as Kim to carry out the attack.

Possible locations included the ­mausoleum where Kim Jong-un's father and grandfather lie in state, or a military parade. Such an operation would be extremely difficult to prepare and carry out successfully.

The North's leader is surrounded by tight security at all times, and Pyongyang maintains a gigantic ­surveillance system over its own ­population that is ingrained at every level of society.

The CIA told its agent Kim it had access to radioactive and "nano poisonous" substances whose lethal results would appear only after six to 12 months, the statement said.

The agent Kim - described as "­human scum" - received payments ­totaling at least $740,000 and was given satellite transceivers and other materials and equipment, it said.

No details were given in the ministry statement of how the supposed plot was uncovered, or of Kim's fate. But in a potential sign of an internal purge, it said that the ministry will "ferret out and mercilessly destroy the terrorists."

The accusations come with Pyongyang and Washington at loggerheads over the North's banned weapons programs, which have seen it subjected to sets of UN Security Council sanctions.

Pyongyang has carried out a series of missile launches and threatened a sixth atomic test, while the US has said that military action was an "option on the table."

The alleged plot was a "hideous crime," the security ministry said, and tantamount to "the declaration of a war." The statement came hours after the US House of Representatives in Washington voted to broaden US sanctions against the North.

The measure, which now heads for the Senate, also gave the Trump administration 90 days to ­determine whether Pyongyang should be re-­designated as a state sponsor of terrorism, after it was removed from the list in 2008.


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