North Korea vows to execute former South Korean president


Pyongyang urged Seoul on Wednesday to extradite former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who was impeached in March over a national corruption scandal, for execution over her alleged involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, local media reported Wednesday.

The threat comes after the killing of Mr Kim's estranged half-brother Kim Jong-Nam by two women using the banned nerve agent VX at Kuala Lumpur global airport in February.

Pyongyang also called on Seoul to hand over the ex-leader and other "traitors" for the sake of "future north-south relations".

North Korea's statement Wednesday came hours after new South Korean President Moon Jae-in left for the United States for meetings with President Donald Trump that are likely to be dominated by North Korea's growing nuclear threat. They added: "Our supreme leader is a symbol of the dignity and loyalty of our Republic and the whole life and destiny of our army and people".

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Propaganda from the North demanding Park's death also referred to the plot being "pushed forward" in 2015. In May, it claimed that US and South Korean spy agencies were trying to kill Kim Jong-un with some "biochemical substances", the country's Ministry of State Security said, as quoted by AFP.

Kim Jong-un is known for executing or removing many senior officials that he had inherited from his father's regime.

Lee is no longer head of the NIS.Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Monday, citing sources familiar with Park's North Korea policy, that she had signed off on a plot to remove the North's leader in 2015 and the plan was orchestrated by the South's spy agency."We declare at home and overseas that we will impose the death penalty on traitor Park Geun-hye and ex-director of the puppet intelligence service. criminals of ugly state-sponsored terrorism who hatched and pressed for the heinous plot to hurt the supreme leadership of the DPRK", KCNA said.

"The villains even thought about disguising the operation as auto or train accident", it said.

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Any such operation would be extremely hard to prepare and carry out successfully.

In its latest statement, Pyongyang warned the USA and South Korea of summary punishment for senior officials in case new plots are hatched against North's leadership.

In May, analysts said the accusations could be a pre-emptive attempt to try to dissuade Washington from any attempt at a surgical strike on its leadership, as suggested by some commentators.

The NIS denied North's report on the issue and said it "had no grounds".

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A Japanese newspaper, however, reported this week that Park had indeed approved a plan two years ago to oust Kim. As well as the Kim Jong-Nam murder, 21 people including four South Korean government ministers were killed in a bombing in the Myanmar capital Yangon in 1983 targeting Seoul's then president Chun Doo-Hwan. Bullet holes are still visible on a tree above the presidential Blue House.