North Korea claims US 'biochemical' plot to kill Kim Jong Un

The North's Ministry of State Security released a statement saying "the last-ditch effort" of USA "imperialists" and the South had gone "beyond the limits".

The accusation comes just months after the assassination of half-brother Kim Jong Nam via VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur.

"We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the US CIA and the puppet Intelligence Services of South Korea", the statement said, adding that the plot was tantamount to "the declaration of a war".

A statement from the ministry of state security claimed foreign intelligence services "hatched a vicious plot" targeting Kim during a public appearance for ceremonial events in Pyongyang.

Analysts say such an assassination operation would be extremely hard to plan and carry out given the massive security around the supreme leader.

Pyongyang presented extensive details but offered no concrete proof.

The ministry refers to two payments to "Kim" of $US20,000 and a further two of $100,000 for "bribery" and obtaining equipment.

North Korea claims US 'biochemical' plot to kill Kim Jong Un

Reports name Xu Guanghai, allegedly the director general of the "Qingdao NAZCA Trade Co".

Ri Byong Ho, the North Korea head of intelligence, said the suspect was a "very important person" and that "there have already been more than 80 planned terrorist attacks" that have been foiled. This is because the American sanctions would penalise companies that trade with Pyongyang.

The plot was tantamount to "the declaration of a war", the statement added and it accused the U.S. of sponsoring terrorism.

Deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Patrick Murphy Murphy stressed ties with Pyongyang are a sovereign matter for ASEAN states, but confirmed that Tillerson had urged them to review their positions.

A North Korean newspaper said that the nation was "waiting for the moment it will reduce the whole of the US mainland to ruins".

Washington has also repeatedly said it has not ruled out military action.

The Trump administration has not ruled out a military strike against North Korea's missile program but says it first wants to tighten sanctions against the regime and is even prepared to negotiate in the right circumstances. It was "unimaginable that individuals can get close enough to Kim to harm him in light of supertight security there", he told AFP. The report did not specify whom he was paid to assassinate. North Korean commandos infiltrated Seoul in Jan 1968 in a failed attempt to assassinate its then leader Park Chung-Hee.

  • Salvatore Jensen