North Korea accused the CIA of plotting to kill supreme leader Kim Jong-un with a "bio-chemical" attack yesterday, as it threatened to "mercilessly destroy" US and South Korean intelligence agencies.
A spokesman for the secretive regime claimed that a "terrorist group" supported by the CIA attempted to poison Mr Kim in April, according to Yonhap News.
He said a North Korean citizen named "Kim" had been bribed by intelligence services to use "radioactive and nano-poisonous substances" in the assassination attempt.
Neither the CIA nor South Korean intelligence agencies have responded to the extraordinary allegations, which experts dismissed as regime propaganda.
North Korean propaganda frequently claims that foreign enemies are trying to kill the supreme leader, though it marks the first time the CIA has been directly accused of plotting a chemical attack on Mr Kim.
"We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the U.S. CIA," a North Korean security minister said in a statement published by state media.
"[A] Korean-style anti-terrorist attack will be commenced from this moment to sweep away the intelligence and plot-breeding organizations of the U.S. imperialists and the puppet clique [of South Korea]."
The regime went on to claim that the chemical agent which was used "takes 6-12 months for its lethal effects to appear."