North Korea said on Thursday (11 May) that it will seek extradition of the "criminals" involved in the alleged plot to assassinate their supreme leader Kim Jong-un.
The hermit nation accused American and South Korean national spy agencies of planning a biochemical attack on Kim during the country's founder's day celebrations on 15 April.
Han Song-ryol, the vice foreign minister, made the remark during a meeting of foreign diplomats in Pyongyang to discuss the alleged murder plot, insisting that the country will ensure the conspirators are punished.
"According to our law, the Central Public Prosecutor's Office of the DPRK will use all available methods to start to work to demand the handover of the criminals involved, so as to punish the organisers, conspirators and followers of this terrible state-sponsored terrorism," he said, referring to the country with its official name — Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
"These terrorists plotted and planned in detail for the use of biochemical substances including radioactive and poisonous substances as the means of assassination," Han said.
"These biochemical substances were to be provided with the assistance of the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency]... while the South Korean Intelligence Service was going to provide necessary support and funding for this attempt at assassination on our supreme leader," he added.
Earlier in May, the North Korean Ministry of State Security alleged that the CIA and South's National Intelligence Service (NIS) had hired an assassin named only as Kim to kill their leader. The ministry claimed to have thwarted the murder attempt.
They also named a South Korean agent named Jo Ki Chol and a "secret agent" named Xu Guanghai, director general of the Qingdao NAZCA Trade Co Ltd, who allegedly met Kim in Dandong on North Korea's border with China. Pyongyang also named "a guy surnamed Han" in the alleged plot, who they said taught the assassin how to enlist accomplices.
Days later, the ministry issued an English-language statement warning of a series of "more powerful" Korean-style attacks on the CIA and NIS in protest against the murder plot. The ministry said it will launch the attacks immediately.
"We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the US CIA and South Korea's National Intelligence Service," the statement read.
Meanwhile, the CIA has formed a new unit, called the Korea Mission Centre, to tackle North Korean missile and nuclear threats. The unit will be headed by a veteran, it said.