North Korea accuses US, South Korea of assassination attempt

In a potential sign of escalating tensions, North Korea has accused the United States and South Korea of having conspired to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un, with "biochemical agents".

The statement from North Korea's Ministry of State Security released Friday said the US intelligence agency had bribed a North Korean citizen, named only as Kim, in 2014 to carry out the plot. The accusations come with the U.S. 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.

Then, in April, reports suggested that China's patience with North Korea was wearing thin as Pyongyang continued to conduct nuclear missile tests, and that Beijing was considering a suspension of its crude oil exports to its neighbor should North Korea conduct a sixth nuclear test. To discuss, Worldview talks with Peter Hayes, director of the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainability in Berkeley, California.

The North's Ministry of State Security released a statement saying "the last-ditch effort" of US "imperialists" and the South had gone "beyond the limits".


It said "Kim" had been told that the best method was the use of "biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance" whose results would "appear after six or 12 months".

In a statement issued to the media, Pyongyang said, the Central Intelligence Agency sought to use "biochemical substances including radioactive substances and nano poisonous substances" to kill Jong-Un during a public event in North Korea.

The denouncement of the US and South Korea governments follows a visit from CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Seoul this week, The Washington Post reported. The chemical attack was due to be carried out during a public parade.

Without giving any basis for the claims, the ministry further stated that the hired assassin was handed over $20,000 on two occasions and a satellite transmitter-receiver to carry out the task.


The statement, carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, accused the two intelligence agencies of hiring a North Korean man to carry out a bio-chemical attack on the country's leader during the 15 April military parade in capital Pyongyang.

North Korea frequently lambasts the United States and South Korea, but its accusation Friday was unusual in its details. It only said, "criminals going hell-bent to realize such a pipe dream can not survive on this land even a moment".

The Trump administration has said that all options, including military, remain on the table in dealing with North Korea, but that it is not pursuing a policy of regime change.

They allegedly smeared the man's face with the toxic VX nerve agent, a chemical described by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction, at Kuala Lumpur airport on February 13.



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