Wed, May 10, 2017 - Page 5 News List

N Korea accuses US of terrorism

FERRETING:North Korea alleges that the NIS, the CIA and South Korean leaders planned a biochemical attack against Kim Jong-un and have vowed to find conspirators in the plot

AP, TOKYO

The North Korean reports also said a “Korean-style anti-terrorist attack” would begin immediately.

Follow-up stories on the plot have focused on outraged North Koreans demanding revenge.

It is anyone’s guess what a “Korean-style” attack might entail.

North Korea is known for its loud and belligerent rhetoric in the face of what it deems to be threats to its leadership, and the reference to ferreting out anyone involved in the plot could suggest not only action abroad, but possible purges or crackdowns at home.

“I wonder if Kim Jong-un has become paranoid about the influence Americans are having on North Koreans and about the possibility of US action against him,” said Bruce Bennett, a senior defense analyst and North Korea expert at the RAND Corporation. “Will Kim increase his internal purges of North Korean elites? Will he focus on North Korean defectors, people who the regime would like to silence? Or will he do both?”

Tensions between North Korea and its chief adversaries — the US and South Korea — have been rising over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs, as well as joint US-South Korean military exercises that include training for a possible “decapitation strike” to kill the North’s senior leaders.

Bennett noted that such training has been included and expanded upon in annual war games hosted by South Korea, which were bigger than ever this year.

The war games, called Key Resolve/Foal Eagle, just finished, without any signs of North Korean retaliation.

However, the current rhetoric from Pyongyang has a somewhat familiar ring to it. Case in point: the movie The Interview in 2014.

In June that year, the North denounced the Seth Rogen comedy, which portrays the assassination of Kim Jong-un for the CIA by two American journalists, as “a most wanton act of terror and act of war.”

A few months later, hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment computers and released thousands of e-mails, documents, US Social Security numbers and other personal information in an attempt to derail the movie’s release.

The US government blamed North Korea for the attack.

Pyongyang denies involvement, but has praised the hackers.

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