North Korean state news media accused the U.S. and South Korea today of plotting an assassination attempt on Kim Jong Un.
The Washington Post reports.
North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Friday that the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and South Korea’s National Intelligence Agency had bribed a North Korean citizen to “hurt the supreme leadership” using a biochemical substance.
Reportedly, the attempt was to be made on April 16, during the Day of the Sun celebrations. The BBC further elaborates that the statement by North Korean news described the biochemical substances as “‘including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance’ whose results would ‘appear after six or twelve months’…”
About $300,000 reportedly had been given to the “corrupted and bribed” citizen in various smaller payments on the understanding that he would provide detailed information about a possible location for the attack, as well as methods to carry it out. KCNA went on to call the CIA and South Korea’s NIA “hotbed of evils in the world.”
In response, the statement of the news agency continued,
“We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the U.S. CIA…. Korean-style anti-terrorist attack will be commenced from this moment to sweep away the intelligence and plot-breeding organisations of the US imperialists and the puppet clique.”
Is there any truth to the accusations? The Norks have made similar accusations in the past, none verified, but tensions have been unusually high in recent months. And, as The Hill reports, “South Korea has in the past admitted to having plans in place to kill Kim.”
Again, from The Washington Post:
…Cui Zhiying, a professor in the Center for Asia-Pacific Studies at Tongji University in Shanghai, said the accusation was unlikely to be true, and more likely just another episode in a “war of words” between the two sides.
“There is no doubt that the United States and South Korea have been thinking about eradicating Kim Jong Un, but it is hard to put into practice,” he said. He said the claim was more likely a North Korean response to “escalating threats” from the U.S. side.
Other quoted expert also believe it is likely a false accusation.
Everyone wants to see Kim Jong Un gone — John Kasich even called for the removal of North Korean leadership last week — but it must be done successfully as North Korea continues to grow more dangerous in their weapons technology. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told ABC recently that he is aware of no plots to assassinate Kim. For the sake of the world, and especially North Korean citizens, at least part of me hopes he’s wrong.