North Korea Accuses U.S. and South Korea of Plotting to Assassinate Kim Jong-un

Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, in April. North Korea stands accused of assassinating his estranged half brother, Kim Jong-nam, in February. (Korean Central News Agency, via Reuters)

In a region already tense over nuclear threats, North Korea accused the South Korean and American intelligence agencies on Friday of plotting to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un, and it warned of an unspecified counterattack.

North Korea recently uncovered a “hideous terrorists’ group” that the National Intelligence Service of South Korea, working with the C.I.A., had sent into the North on a secret mission to kill Mr. Kim with biochemical agents, said a spokesman for the North’s Ministry of State Security.

In a statement carried by the North’s official news agency, KCNA, the unidentified spokesman said the National Intelligence Service had hired a North Korean logger working in Khabarovsk, in the Russian Far East, in 2014 to prepare for “state-sponsored terrorism.”

Officers at the National Intelligence Service were said to have trained the man, providing him with $20,000 and a satellite transmitter-receiver. They then infiltrated the “human scum” into North Korea, giving him instructions last year on how to assassinate Mr. Kim, the spokesman said.

The idea was to launch a bombing attack at a military parade attended by Mr. Kim, the North Korean statement said.

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

“Korean-style antiterrorist 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, the most mean and brutal hideous terrorist group in the world,” the statement added.

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SOURCE: NY Times, Choe Sang-Hun