North Korea said Saturday it has asked the United Nations to condemn an alleged terrorist attempt by South Korea and the United States to undermine its regime by demolishing the statues of its founding leader, Kim Il-sung.
North Korea said it has mailed the United Nations details of open testimony made by one of its nationals allegedly hired by South Korean and U.S. intelligence on a secret mission to destroy the Kim Il-sung statutes near the border with China.
The man, identified by the North as Jon Yong-chul, returned to Pyongyang after defecting to South Korea in 2010. He told a news conference in the North's capital in July that he had been sent back home on a mission to destroy the Kim statues.
Seoul confirmed that Jon had defected to Seoul in 2010 but flatly denied the North's claim as a propaganda scheme.
In an English-language Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) report, North Korea said details of Jon's news conference "was sent on August 7 to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Anti-Terror Committee of Security Council of the United Nations and other UN organizations and relevant personages of the UN Office including the UN secretary general and the president of the UN General Assembly."
The KCNA report was titled "Condemnation of U.S. and S. Korean regime's attempted hideous terrorism against DPRK called for."
Several North Korean groups such as the National Peace Committee of Korea and the Korean Committee for Solidarity with the World People also sent copies of the press release on Aug. 2 to 93 international bodies, organizations and individuals of 34 countries, including the World Peace Council and the International Anti-Imperialism Coordinating Committee, the report said.
"The press release brought to light the organized and premeditated crimes committed by the U.S. and the puppet regime and requested the international organizations to take appropriate measures for checking them," the KCNA added, referring to South Korea as a "puppet regime" under U.S. control.
Thousands of statues and monuments idolizing the late North Korean leader and his family dot the country. North Koreans are advised to visit and pay homage to them. Kim Il-sung is the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un who took over after his father, Kim Jong-il, died in December.
South Korean news reports said Jon was a drug addict and a criminal in the North and may have returned home after failing to adjust to life in the South. They also said he may have decided to cooperate in the North's anti-South campaign to avoid punishment for his defection. (Yonhap News)