North Korea accuses US, South Korea of assassination attempt

North Korea accused the USA and South Korea of a launching an unsuccessful assassination attempt against North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un involving biochemical weapons, ABC News reported Friday morning.

USA lawmakers took a step in that direction Thursday when the Republican-led House voted to slap North Korea with new sanctions targeting its shipping industry and use of slave labor.

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.

A statement from North Korea's official media announced the accusation and added that their government will "ferret out and mercilessly destroy" USA and South Korean "terrorists" who purportedly targeted Kim.

North Korean leader Kim Jon Un oversees a combat drill of the Korean People's Army in this undated photo released by North Korea's Central News Agency, Dec. 11, 2016.

The North Korean statement said the plan had "been put into the extremely serious phase of implementation".

Earlier this year, Kim Jong-un's half brother, Kim Jong-nam, was killed with the banned nerve agent VX at Kuala Lumpur global airport. The alleged plot was a "hideous crime" the security ministry said, and tantamount to "the declaration of a war".

"So Washington is depending on the military build-up in South Korea, the military build-up in Japan, and Trump's relationship with the Conservative Party in Australia".

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North Korea arrested a man it called a South Korean spy past year for allegedly sneaking into the North to abduct North Korean children.

KCNA laid out the alleged plot in great detail, saying it was hatched in 2014 when the South Korean and United States intelligence agencies recruited a North Korean working in the timber industry in eastern Russian Federation.

Although the North Korean suspect was not named in the official televised broadcast, he was identified by his surname - Kim. Chinese authorities suspended coal imports from North Korea in February.

The North warned that China was testing its patience and that such actions would trigger "grave" consequences.

With President Trump promising to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons, these are also tense times, when Pyongyang could have been tempted to hit back at the US.

It was not clear whether North Korea was taking stock of their options.

Analysts said the accusations could be a pre-emptive attempt to try to dissuade Washington from any attempt at a surgical strike on its leadership, as suggested by some commentators.

The drill was particularly disturbing for South Koreans who remember a failed attempt by North Korean commandos in 1968 to assassinate then dictator Park Chung-hee, the father of Park Geun-hye.

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