Published: Sun, May 07, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

North Korea accuses US, South Korea of assassination attempt

North Korea accuses US, South Korea of assassination attempt

The spy agency later provided the man with additional cash to hire co-conspirators, the statement said.

"A$3 Korean-style anti-terrorist attack will be commenced from this moment to sweep away the intelligence and plot-breeding organisations of the USA imperialists and the puppet clique", it said.

In its response on Thursday, the Global Times - which can sometimes stridently espouse what it sees as China's interests - dismissed the KCNA article as "nothing more than a hyper-aggressive piece completely filled with nationalistic passion".

North Korea stands accused of assassinating Kim Jong Nam, Kim's estranged half brother, with a banned chemical weapon at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in February.

Conspiracy theorists previously accused the Central Intelligence Agency of involvement in the murder of Kim Jong Un's estranged brother, Kim Jong Nam, in February. 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.

Relations between North Korea and China have been deteriorating for the past year.

The war of words between the West and the reclusive regime has spiked in recent weeks, and Pyongyang has threatened to carry out a sixth nuclear test that would further inflame tensions.

The ministry claimed that the North Korean man had been "corrupted and bribed" by South Korean intelligence services while he was working in Russian Federation. The South Korean presidential election is scheduled to be held on May 9.

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It remains impossible to verify these claims. South Korea's intelligence service told CNN they know nothing about the alleged plot.

Bruce Klingner, a former Central Intelligence Agency analyst now at the Heritage Foundation think tank, said it could be the first time North Korea had accused the allies of an attempted assassination.

When it accused the South Korean spy agency in these cases, it usually named the CIA as a co-conspirator or the mastermind.

North Korea state media also reported that on Friday, Kim Jong-Un visited Jangjae and Mu islands, two islets controlled by North Korea, where he reportedly "acquainted and examined the plan for fire strike of the newly organised forces at the objects of the enemy". Still, it's unusual for the North to directly criticize China.

South Korea's defense ministry said it didn't have an immediate comment on the report.

The North warned that China was testing its patience and that such actions would trigger "grave" consequences.

Although China has publicly distanced itself from Pyongyang and insists it has halted coal imports, some experts believe the two countries are still trading through the "livelihood purposes" clause that allows trade to ensure the survival of the North Korean people. Those sanctions - and that tension - could get even tighter if North Korea is added to the US list of state sponsors of terror.

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