North Korea has asked the UN to condemn an alleged terrorist plot by the US and South Korea to discredit Pyongyang by blowing up a statue of the late Eternal President Kim Il-sung.
The alleged plot first surfaced in mid-July, when a man identified as Jon Yong-chul gave details of his plan to demolish statues with a remotely controlled bomb in a press conference in Pyongyang. He claimed South Korean and American agents paid him and sent him across North Korea’s border with China to demolish a Kim Il-sung statue in a nearby town. He was caught during a reconnaissance mission as he was trying to return to China, he said.
Seoul said Jon, 52, was a defector from the North, who came to South Korea in 2010. South’s officials called the plot allegations “completely false” and “propaganda not worth responding to.”
Pyongyang now seeks international condemnation of the alleged “attempted hideous terrorism” conspiracy, according to a Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report. DPRK has mailed details of case to a number of UN bodies, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Anti-Terror Committee of Security Council of the United Nations, as well as the UN secretary-general and the president of the UN General Assembly.
Several North Korean groups also sent copies to other international organizations, the agency said Saturday.
North Korea is dotted with statues of Kim Il-sung, who is the grandfather of the country’s current leader Kim Jong-un. They serve as places of veneration of the Kim dynasty. Some defector groups in South Korea consider targeting the statues to foment dissent against the regime.
“I thought that destroying Kim Il-sung statues was the spark needed to trigger a democracy movement in North Korea,” defector Kim Song-min said, as cited by The New York Times. “But we never put our plan into action.”
Kim Song-min said he had met Jon only once, around last autumn, but did not trust him.
Some South Korean media described Jon as a drug addict and criminal, who failed to adapt to life in the country.