North Korea accuses U.S. of assassination plot against Kim Jong Un

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The accusation comes just months after the assassination of half-brother Kim Jong Nam via VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur.

North Korean officials have also threatened a "counter-terrorist attack" against its aggressors, the United States and South Korea, as a response to these claims.

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.

USA and South Korean agents are plotting to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, North Korean state media report.

While the CIA has a notorious history of attempting to execute assassinations of political leaders across the world, the intelligence agency was forced to stop such operations in the 1970s after a Senate inquiry concluded that the policy was counterproductive.

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A statement by the North Korean Ministry of State Security said that Pyongyang would find and "mercilessly destroy" the terrorists. North Korea arrested a man it called a South Korean spy a year ago for allegedly sneaking into the North to abduct North Korean children.

And it targets those involved in the export or use of North Korean forced labor, in part by banning goods produced under such conditions from entering the United States.

Dialogue between the North and the U.S. has in the past dampened potential conflict, as happened with trips to Pyongyang by former presidents Jimmy Carter in 1994 and Bill Clinton in 2009 and secretary of state Madeleine Albright in 2000.

On Friday, a spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry called Gardner's remarks a "provocation that can not be overlooked" and an affront to the dignity of the country's supreme leadership, from a man who was "tantamount to mentally deranged".

But they come at a time when tensions are rising.

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The Kim regime has been testing ballistic missiles in recent days, while the USA began installing a defense system in South Korea that would ideally destroy missiles launched from the North before they hit their intended target.

North Korea shelled Yeongpyeong Island in November 2010, leaving four people, including two civilians, dead.

North Korea claimed in 2014 that the US created Ebola and experimented with the disease in Africa to test its capabilities as a biological warfare agent.

Kim has continued North Korea's nuclear weapons program in spite of global pressure to shut it down.

"There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea".

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