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Photo via Vietnam Mobiography (CC-BY)
The White House has yet to comment.
North Korea accused the Central Intelligence Agency of plotting to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-un, using biochemical weapons.
The statement was issued by the North Korean security ministry through state media outlet KCNA, according to Seoul’s Yonhap News agency, and alleged that a CIA-sponsored “terrorist group” had been planning the attack.
The alleged plot, Pyongyang claims, involved targeting the dictator at a public parade using “biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance.”
The dictatorship promised a retaliatory “anti-terrorist” action.
“We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the U.S. CIA,” it reads. “A Korean-style anti-terrorist 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 [in South Korea].”
So far, neither the White House nor South Korean government have responded to the claims which come amid rising tensions in the region.
North Korea’s ongoing nuclear and ballistic missile tests have been a concern for the Trump administration, who have made efforts to step up diplomatic pressure on the country.
In early April, President Donald Trump met with Chinese president Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida to discuss the “North Korean problem.” At the time Trump privately and publicly urged China to side with his administration on the issue.
I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
China is North Korea’s closest and only major ally. However, Xi’s willingness to even entertain Trump’s foreign policy objective—the ending of Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile testing program—resulted in backlash from the oppressive regime.
On Thursday via an editorial in a state-run newspaper, North Korea threatened its much bigger ally for the first time ever, warning of “grave consequences” should it continue to walk the “red line” while “dancing to the tune of the U.S.”
David Gilmour is a reporter who specializes in national politics, internet culture, and technology. He previously covered civil liberties, crime, and politics for Vice.