North Korea calls Madrid embassy raid a ‘grave terrorist attack’

The mystery over a commando-style assault on North Korea’s embassy in Madrid deepened after a shadowy group committed to overthrowing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claimed responsibility. (AFP)
Updated 31 March 2019

North Korea calls Madrid embassy raid a ‘grave terrorist attack’

  • A group of armed men burst into Pyongyang’s Spanish embassy last month and roughed up employees before fleeing with documents and computers
  • The incident came just days before a high-stakes nuclear summit in Hanoi between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump

SEOUL: North Korea on Sunday described the February raid on its embassy in Madrid by a dissident group as a “grave terrorist attack” and urged an investigation into the perpetrators.
A group of armed men burst into Pyongyang’s Spanish embassy last month and roughed up employees before fleeing with documents and computers.
The incident came just days before a high-stakes nuclear summit in Hanoi between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump that ultimately failed to reach an accord.
In its first official comment on the raid, North Korea suggested Washington’s possible involvement and called on Spanish authorities to bring the “terrorists and their wire-pullers to justice.”
“A grave terrorist attack occurred on February 22, where an armed group assaulted the DPRK Embassy in Spain,” a spokesman for the foreign ministry said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency, using the acronym for the North’s official name.
“We expect that the authorities concerned in Spain... carry out an investigation into the incident to the last in a responsible manner.”
An investigation into the raid is already underway in Madrid.
On Wednesday, a Spanish court named Mexican national Adrian Hong Chang as leader of the group who contacted “the FBI in New York five days after the assault” with information related to the incident in the embassy.
Hours after the court statement, the Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD) — a dissident group believed to include high-profile North Korean defectors — claimed responsibility for the raid.


Afghan security forces fail to reach ‘Taliban-mined’ site of US military plane crash

Updated 28 January 2020

Afghan security forces fail to reach ‘Taliban-mined’ site of US military plane crash

  • Probe launched into cause of Monday’s incident as Taliban claim responsibility for shooting down jet

KABUL: Afghan security forces have so far been unable to reach the crash site of a US military aircraft which went down during a mission on Monday in a Taliban-controlled area of the country.
An investigation is underway to determine what caused the Bombardier E-11A plane to crash in the Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, about 120 km southwest of Kabul, although the Taliban have claimed responsibility for shooting it down.

“The Taliban have mined the area, and security forces could not make it to the site to retrieve the bodies and recover the aircraft last evening. The Taliban had laid an ambush as security forces tried to reach the site,” Nasir Ahmad Faqiri, head of Ghazni’s provincial council, told Arab News.
He added that other US aircraft had attempted to land in the area overnight but were forced back due to bad weather.
Aref Noori, a spokesman for Ghanzi’s governor, said: “Afghan and foreign forces are preparing a joint plan to go to the site to see what they can do.”
Authorities have yet to determine how many passengers and crew were on board.
Several members of the provincial council said they had heard from locals that four people on board the plane had escaped the site of the crash soon after it came down. However, the reports could not be confirmed by the US military or other officials.
The crash comes amid a push by the Taliban and US diplomats to restart peace talks which are aimed at ending the 18-year-old conflict in the country.