North Korean leader Kim Jong-un claims that he has uncovered a CIA plot to assassinate him amid escalating tensions with the West.
According to the state news agency KNCA, the CIA and South Korean intelligence services had “hatched a vicious plot to hurt the supreme leadership of the DPRA,” by targetting Kim Jong-un at a military parade or at an event at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.
Intelligence officials in North Korea claim that the CIA planned to kill Kim via “biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance” whose results would “appear after six or 12 months“.
BBC News reports: The ministry alleged that the North Korean man had been “turned” by the CIA and the South Korean intelligence service while working in Russia in 2014.
The ministry refers to two payments to “Kim” of $20,000 (£15,500) and a further two of $100,000 for “bribery” and obtaining equipment. It refers to another of $50,000 but it is unclear if this is additional.
On his return to Pyongyang, it says, he was instructed to provide detailed information about a frequently used event ground and to assess possible methods of attack.
The ministry statement gave no details of how the alleged plan had been uncovered or about the fate of “Kim”, whom it described as “human scum”.
The ministry said the “intelligence and plot-breeding organisations of the US imperialists and the puppet clique”, referring to the South, would be swept away.
Earlier this year, Kim Jong-un’s half brother, Kim Jong-nam, was killed with the banned nerve agent VX at Kuala Lumpur international airport. South Korea and Malaysia say it was an assassination carried out by the North.
‘Major, major conflict’
A war of words between the West and nuclear-armed North Korea has escalated in recent weeks, with Pyongyang threatening to carry out a sixth nuclear test.
On Saturday, North Korea conducted its second failed ballistic missile test in two weeks.
The US has sent a warship to the region and installed a controversial anti-missile defence system in South Korea.
President Trump has warned of “major, major conflict” with North Korea.
But he also said this week he would be willing to meet Kim Jong-un, in the right circumstances. The White House quickly clarified that conditions were “clearly not there right now” and said the North should “end its provocative behaviour immediately”.