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South Korea Denies Plot Against North Korean Leader


South Korea has denied North Korean accusations that it plotted an attempt on the life of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

North Korean state media Friday described what they called the capture of an enemy agent with the surname Ri. They said the man crossed the border earlier this year to carry out what they called a terrorist mission planned by a South Korean intelligence organization aimed at harming North Korea's top leader.

Late Thursday, North Korea's official news agency (KCNA) quoted the Ministry of State Security as saying that a South Korean intelligence agency had provided Ri with "speech and acoustic sensing and pursuit devices" for tracking Kim Jong Il's movement's, as well as poison.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service denied any links to the alleged plot.

Relations between the two Koreas have soured since the South's conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office in February.

South Korea and the United States say Mr. Kim suffered a stroke in August and underwent surgery.

North Korea has dismissed those claims and released a series of undated photographs purported to show Mr. Kim performing official duties.

North Korea's official news agency reported today that King Jong Il, accompanied by two generals, inspected an army unit. A report on Thursday said he gave "field guidance" at a machine plant in the northern province of Jagang. The dates of Mr. KIm's visits were not given.

U.S. Admiral Timothy Keating, the commander of U.S. forces in Asia and the Pacific, told reporters Thursday that Mr. Kim is still alive and in control of the isolated regime.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.


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