N.Korea Accuses South of Plot to Blow Up Statues

/Yonhap /Yonhap

North Korea on Thursday accused South Korea of inciting a defector to damage statues and memorials there. At a press conference broadcast on state TV, a man identified as Jon Yong-chol "confessed" to plotting to damage statues at the orders of the National Intelligence Service and a group of North Korean defectors in the South.

Jon said he received liquid explosives from NIS agents and was taught how to use a remote control to blow up the statues. The attack was planned for either Feb. 16, Kim Jong-il's birthday, or Apr. 15, Kim Il-sung's birthday, but since the explosives were not ready it had to be postponed until July 27, North Korea's Victory Day in the Korean War.

Jon claimed he was arrested while crossing the border on the night of June 18 to inspect the site. "The NIS bastards said the plan had to be approved by the U.S. and only then could payment be made," he said. "Although I was exposed and arrested, the U.S. and the NIS in the puppet regime" -- shorthand for the South Korean government -- "will continue to produce more and more people like me."

Jon reportedly escaped North Korea in April 2010 and has lived in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province since March last year following resettlement training at the Hanawon center.

A government official said, "That North Korea is setting up a person in this kind of improbable plot suggests the domestic situation there is extremely unstable."

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 20, 2012 13:48 KST