Korea embassy assailants linked to CIA

A view of North Korea's embassy in Madrid Spain Thursday Feb. 28 2019. Spanish authorities said police were investigating an incident last week at the North Korean Embassy in Madrid in which a woman was hurt and according to a North Korean government

The attack on February 22 was initially reported by Spanish online newspaper El Confidencial on February 27, prompting Spain's National Intelligence Center and police intelligence division to investigate the case.

On 22 February, a group of 10 assailants reportedly broke into the building, tying up, beating and interrogating eight people inside.

Kim Hyok Chol, who was declared persona non grata by Spain and was invited to leave the country before the end of the month, is now one of Kim Jong-un's highly trusted diplomats, and one of the architects of the failed nuclear summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jon-un in Vietnam.

And now there are reports United States intelligence services were involved.

The Spanish government and police have only confirmed that on February 22, emergency services attended to a North Korean woman with mild injuries on the street near the embassy. A woman escaped through a window on the second floor and screamed for help, which alerted a neighbor to call police.

Officers arrived at the scene but when they tried to enter the embassy a man opened the door to them and told them that there was nothing going on.

Minutes later, the man and the other attackers sped away from the embassy at full speed in two North Korean diplomatic vehicles. They tied up the eight people inside and put bags on their heads. Three needed medical treatment.

"The operation was perfectly planned as if it were carried out by a military cell", they said.

Computers and mobile phones were taken during the break-in, which happened five days before the start of the Hanoi summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader.

The CIA has denied involvement in the attack.

Spanish intelligence officials believe at least two of the 10 attackers who broke into the North Korean embassy in Madrid last month, holding staff hostage and making off with computers, are linked to the CIA, according to a report in El País.

Why would anyone attack the embassy?

El Pais also reported that officials believe the goal of the attack was to get information on Kim Hyok Chol, an envoy for the working-level talks for the second US-North Korea summit in Vietnam late last month.

The diplomat served at the facility for years, yet he was expelled back in 2017 amid consecutive nuclear tests held by Pyongyang.

But Mr Kim is now serving as a key envoy in North Korean talks with the U.S., and helped organise the recent summit in Vietnam.



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