North Korea has put on its list of wanted people for execution the name of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye, saying she and her spy chief had plotted to kill North Korea’s leader.
“We declare at home and abroad that we will impose death penalty on traitor Park Geun-hye,” two of Pyongyang’s security ministries and prosecutors said in a joint statement on Wednesday, adding that Park, along with former director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Agency (NIS) Lee Byoung Ho had “pushed forward” a supposed plan in 2015 to assassinate North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.
The statement, carried by official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), said Park and Lee would receive a “miserable dog’s death” and that North Korea would carry out the sentence at “any time, at any place and by whatever methods from this moment.”
It called the two former officials “criminals of hideous state-sponsored terrorism who hatched and pressed” for a heinous plot, calling on Seoul to hand over them.
The KCNA provided no more details on the source of the revelation and how the plan to assassinate Kim could have been executed.
A Japanese newspaper, however, reported this week that Park had indeed approved a plan two years ago to oust Kim. Asahi Shimbun said Monday that that the assassination plot signed off by Park was orchestrated by the South’s spy agency.
The NIS denied North’s report on the issue and said it “had no grounds”. It would not elaborate on the request for hand-over of the two former officials to Pyongyang.
Huge street protests led to the ouster and then arrest of Park in March after a corruption scandal emerged involving her and a close associate. Like many other South Korean officials, she had been very tough on North Korea and used her best to contain the nuclear-armed neighbor through international pressure and sanctions. She also allowed the United States during her time in office to deploy a controversial missile system in South Korea in response to potential threats from the North.
North Korea’s execution verdict for Park comes a month after it accused the US and South Korean intelligence services of plotting to assassinate Kim through biochemical weapons. Both Washington and Seoul dismissed the claims as pure propaganda.
In its latest statement, Pyongyang warned the US and South Korea of summary punishment for senior officials in case new plots are hatched against North’s leadership.
“We declare that in case the US and the South Korean puppet forces again attempt at hideous state-sponsored terrorism targeting the supreme leadership … we will impose summary punishment without advance notice,” said the KCNA.
The two Koreas are technically at war since the end of a conflict in the peninsula in 1953.