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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, December 14, 2017

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CIA gets serious about North Korea as Pyongyang vows to ‘ferret out’ those involved in plot to kill its leader

CIA is establishing a Korea Mission Center

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WASHINGTON, U.S. - In a bid to seriously address "the nuclear and ballistic missile threat posed by" North Korea and its unpredictable leader, the U.S. intelligence agency has announced that the CIA is establishing a Korea Mission Center.> BNN

The announcement came immediately after the newly elected South Korean President Moon Jae-in expressed his interest in meeting the North Korean dictator to ease relations. 

The CIA said in a statement that the creation of the center focusing on specific threats from the Korean peninsula will allow the CIA to "harness the full resources, capabilities, and authorities of the Agency" to deal with North Korea.

Further, the center will put the forces of CIA analysts and officers side-by-side in one location to tackle the threat from Pyongyang.

The statement from the agency further added, “The new Mission Center draws on experienced officers from across the Agency and integrates them in one entity to bring their expertise and creativity to bear against the North Korea target.”

In the statement, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said that the creation of the center focuses the CIA's efforts against the "serious threats" emerging from North Korea.

Pompeo added, “Creating the Korea Mission Center allows us to more purposefully integrate and direct CIA efforts against the serious threats to the United States and its allies emanating from North Korea,” adding its creation "reflects the dynamism and agility that CIA brings to evolving national security challenges."

The CIA statement said that the new office will "work closely with the intelligence community and the entire U.S. national security community.”

CIA’s statement also came after Pyongyang sought the extradition of anyone involved in what it says was a CIA-backed plot to kill its leader Kim Jung Un last month with a biochemical poison.

A top North Korean foreign ministry official, the vice foreign minister, Han Song Ryol called a meeting of foreign diplomats in Pyongyang on Thursday.

He is said to have outlined the North’s allegation that the CIA and South Korea’s intelligence agency bribed a North Korean man into joining in the assassination plot.

Last month, the North’s Ministry of State Security suggested that the plot was thwarted.

The North’s state media, that has been running stories about the plot since last week, has vowed to “ferret out” anyone involved in the alleged plot, which it called “state-sponsored terrorism.”

The minister said, “According to our law, the Central Public Prosecutor’s Office of the DPRK will use all available methods to start to work to demand the handover of the criminals involved, so as to punish the organizers, conspirators and followers of this terrible state-sponsored terrorism.”

Adding, “These terrorists plotted and planned in detail for the use of biochemical substances including radioactive and poisonous substances as the means of assassination. These biochemical substances were to be provided with the assistance of the CIA … while the South Korean Intelligence Service was going to provide necessary support and funding for this attempt at assassination on our supreme leader.”

 

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