North Korea claims the CIA tried to assassinate Kim Jong-un this year

North Korea claim a CIA plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un was foiled in May (AP)

North Korea has accused the CIA of trying to assassinate Kim Jong-un with a nerve agent earlier this year.

A statement released by the Korean Central News Agency claims a U.S. spy was paid to bump off the North Korean dictator using a deadly biological or chemical substance.

The plot – which bears similarities to the one used to assassinate Kim Jong-un’s half-brother Kim Jong-nam at Kuala Lumpur airport in February – was apparently foiled by the secretive regime in May.

KCNA, the propaganda machine of the notoriously secretive state, said: “In May this year, a group of heinous terrorists who infiltrated into our country on the orders of the Central Intelligence Agency of the US and the South Korean puppet Intelligence Service with the purpose of carrying out a state-sponsored terrorism against our supreme headquarters using biological and chemical substance were caught and exposed.

The alleged plot echoes the assassination of Kim Jong-un’s half brother Kim Jong-nam (AP)

“This palpably shows the true nature of the US as the main culprit behind terrorism.”

The KCNA statement alleges a North Korean known only as ‘Kim’ was the spy paid to carry out the attack.

The spy’s fate was not reported in the statement.

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Korea hack

The claim comes amid fears North Korean operatives have hacked a large number of detailed war plans drawn up by South Korea and the US in the event of a full-scale war – including details of how Kim might be assassinated.

The country’s defence ministry has refused to confirm the reports, but South Korean politician Rhee Cheol-hee said the information came from officials in the department.

About 50,000 documents are thought to have been compromised, but only a fifth of them have so far been identified.

The hack is thought to have taken place in September 2016 and it is feared the secretive plans in the event of a full-scale war drawn up by Seoul and Washington two years ago, called OPLAN 5015, could have been accessed.

However, Mr Rhee said the hackers had accessed OPLAN 5015, which is part of the most recent blueprint for war with North Korea that was drawn up by Seoul and Washington in 2015.

The documents also outline how the US would plan to dispose of North Korean leaders.

Previous claim

This is not the first time that North Korea has made the claim against the CIA about using ‘Kim’ to assassinate their leader.

The KCNA said in May: “The Central Intelligence Agency of the U.S. and the Intelligence Service (IS) of South Korea, hotbed of evils in the world, hatched a vicious plot to hurt the supreme leadership of the DPRK and those acts have been put into the extremely serious phase of implementation after crossing the threshold of the DPRK.

“A hideous terrorists’ group, which the CIA and the IS infiltrated into the DPRK on the basis of covert and meticulous preparations to commit state-sponsored terrorism against the supreme leadership of the DPRK by use of bio-chemical substance, has been recently detected.”

Donald Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea (Rex)

They went on to claim that ‘Kim’ was paid more than £15,000 to carry out the deadly attack.

The claims come as the war of words between North Korea and the United States ramps up over Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons programme.

President Donald Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea in his first address to the United Nations after the country threatened the US territory of Guam in August.

The missile threat

It also emerged on Tuesday that the North Korean regime has told Russian lawmakers it possesses a ballistic missile with a range of 3,000 km that will be able to reach U.S. territory after modernisation.

According to the Interfax news agency, cited Anton Morozov, a lawmaker and member of the lower house of parliament’s international affairs committee, who visited Pyongyang from October 2-6.

The hermit state aims to increase the range of its ballistic missiles to 9,000 km (5592.34 miles), Morozov was quoted as saying. “There was no talk about the deadline (for solving this task),” he said.

(Reporting by Polina Devitt; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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