North Korea accuses US, South Korea of assassination attempt

North Korea has accused the Central Intelligence Agency of plotting with South Korea to assassinate Kim Jong-un, the isolated country's leader, as tension soars in the flashpoint region.

A North Korean referred to only as "Kim" was paid to carry out an attack with biochemical substances, the ministry of state security said.

According to the statement, the plot involved "targeting the supreme leadership during events at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun and at a military parade and public procession".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides field guidance at the construction site of Ryomyong Street in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on March 16, 2017.

North Korea warned this week that United States hostility had brought the region to the brink of nuclear war.

Supporters said the legislation was meant to send a strong message to North Korea, amid worldwide concern over the escalation of its nuclear program.

Fox News is reporting that a commentary released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency shows North Korea verbally threatening China.

It said Kim received two payments of $20,000 and a "satellite transmitter-receiver".

Then, in April, reports suggested that China's patience with North Korea was wearing thin as Pyongyang continued to conduct nuclear missile tests, and that Beijing was considering a suspension of its crude oil exports to its neighbor should North Korea conduct a sixth nuclear test.

At the same time, seeing how trigger-happy President Trump is, it is conscious that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's provocations could lead to war in its neighbourhood.

The legislation, passed 419-1, also would require the Trump administration to report to Congress within 90 days on whether North Korea should be returned to the list of state sponsors of terrorism. It has described regular US-South Korea military exercises as plans to "decapitate" its leadership. Although a total oil embargo is unlikely, analysts see some kind of curtailment of Chinese exports to North Korea as probable.

Beijing has been angered by North Korea's nuclear and missile tests and supported U.S. sanctions, but foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said it opposes other countries using their own domestic law to impose unilateral sanctions.

Supporters said the legislation was meant to send a strong message to North Korea.

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

"The current situation on the peninsula is complex and sensitive, and the parties concerned should exercise restraint, in particular to avoid taking actions that stimulate others and to prevent a further escalation of the situation on the peninsula", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular news conference.

  • Joey Payne