Published on
by

Amid Escalating Tensions, North Korea Accuses CIA of Assassination Plot

Statement released Friday says 2014 plot involved 'biochemical agents'

Kim Jong Un inspects a defense detachment in a photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on May 5. (Photo: KCNA via Reuters)

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 accusation was made Friday by North Korea's Ministry of State Security in a lengthy statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. It says the "recently uncovered" plot was hatched in 2014 by the CIA and South Korea's National Intelligence Agency—"hotbed of evils in the world"—who had bribed and "ideologically corrupted" a North Korean citizen.

That citizen, identified only as Kim, was allegedly working in Russia in the timber industry. The Washington Post writes that he

was supposed to target the "supreme leadership" at a public event or military parade, using "bomb terrorism" involving "biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano-poisonous substance," [the statement] said.

"Criminals going hell-bent to realize such a pipe dream cannot survive on this land even a moment," the statement said, and denounced the agencies as "U.S. imperialists and the puppet clique."

The Ministry of State Security said it will "ferret out and mercilessly destroy" the "terrorists" in the intelligence agencies, the Associated Press writes.

The Guardian notes that "the CIA's long history of attempting covert assassinations of political leaders across the world is notorious," but, as with "other North Korean claims, the allegation that the CIA plotted to assassinate Kim is impossible to verify. Media reports about the regime are tightly controlled by the state's propaganda machinery and often designed merely to burnish the leader's reputation."

Still, as AP describes it, the new accusation marks a departure from the frequent bluster from Pyongyang directed at the U.S., as it "was unusual in its detail."

It comes a day after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved legislation to impose fresh sanctions against North Korea. The bill targets the North Korea's shipping industry and "convict, forced, or indentured labor."

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Share This Article