North Korea accuses Central Intelligence Agency of plot to kill leader Kim Jong

US lawmakers okay new sanctions on North Korean workers, shipping

CIA Director Mike Pompeo was in South Korea this week, conducting "detailed security discussions" with his South Korean counterpart and visiting an island near the border between the North and the South, the USA military command in South Korea said in a statement Tuesday.

North Korea accused the CIA and South Korea's intelligence service of attempting to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-Un, with a bio-chemical weapon.

Last month, the state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun claimed US-Australian military exercises in northern Australia were preparation for nuclear war against North Korea and threatened Darwin with a potential retaliatory strike. The North believes the United States and South are seeking to assassinate Kim, said Professor Koh Yu-Hwan of Dongguk University.

The accusation comes as tension soars on the Korean peninsula, driven by concern that North Korea might conduct its sixth nuclear test or test-launch another ballistic missile in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

That follows the killing of Kim's estranged half-brother Kim Jong-Nam by two women using the banned nerve agent VX at Kuala Lumpur worldwide airport.

State media claims USA and South Korean intelligence agencies were working together with an unidentified terrorist group to carry out an attack, possibly with a biochemical weapon at a military parade.

It said South Korean agents gave 20,000 dollars (£15,000) and satellite communication equipment to the North Korean to attack Kim during a public event with a bio-chemical weapon.

The allegations made by North Korea are detailed. Both Malaysia and South Korea have blamed the North for the assassination, which retorts that the accusations are an attempt to smear it.

Giving details of the failed assassination plot, the statement said that the killer was told that the use of biochemical substances "including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance is the best method that does not require access to the target".

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to tighten sanctions on North Korea by targeting its shipping industry and companies that do business with the reclusive state.

It did not mention Kim Jong-un by name, but he is widely referred to as the supreme leader.

March and April 2017: "Kim" meets a South Korean agent in the city of Dandong in China and is given a new transmitter and more cash.

The ministry's statement was carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. The report did not specify whom he was paid to assassinate.

The US Embassy in Seoul and the NIS were not immediately available for comment.

Kim last December oversaw a military drill that involved a simulated attack on the Blue House, South Korea's presidential office and residence.

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