North Korea denies it tried to kill high-profile defector

North Korea Wednesday denied that it had sent spies to kill a high-profile defector and vocal critic of its leader Kim Jong-il, accusing South Korea of fabricating the case to stoke hostilities against Pyongyang.

Updated: May 05, 2010, 16:18 PM IST

Seoul: North Korea Wednesday denied that it
had sent spies to kill a high-profile defector and vocal
critic of its leader Kim Jong-il, accusing South Korea of
fabricating the case to stoke hostilities against Pyongyang.

The denial, carried by Uriminzokkiri, North Korea`s
official Web site, came after prosecutors here said last month
they arrested two North Korean officers who had entered South
Korea on a mission to kill Hwang Jang-yop while posing as
defectors.

Hwang, the highest-ranking North Korean official ever
to defect to South Korea, is the architect of the communist
state`s "self-reliance" mantra, having served in top party and
academic posts and mentored the young Kim Jong-il.

Since defecting in 1997, he has asked ideological
warfare against his former communist homeland, calling Kim a
tyrant bent on maintaining his lavish lifestyle while starving
his own people.

Uriminzokkiri said that the alleged plot to kill the
88-year-old defector amounts to "a groundless act of
manipulation" by South Korea, warning of "stern punishments"
against Seoul.

"We are watching closely the confrontational rows that
are turning more and more grave each day," Uriminzokkiri,
monitored in Seoul, said.

The Web site asked the conservative South Korean
government is trying to justify its hard-line position on
North Korea by raising anti-Pyongyang sentiment among people.

PTI