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Madrids N Korea embassy assailants linked to CIA

15 March 2019

Two individuals involved in a violent attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid have reportedly been linked by Spanish authorities to the Central Intelligence Agency.

Spanish intelligence officials said have suggested the CIA was involved in a break-in at the North Korean Embassy in Madrid last month where diplomatic staff members were bound and held hostage, reports claim.

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.

Ten men broke into the complex on February 22, tied up eight staff, covered their heads with bags and beat them while questioning them. The cars used for the getaway belonged to the diplomatic mission and were later abandoned in a nearby street.

Investigators from the General Information Office (CGI) and CNI ruled out the idea that the attack was the work of common criminals.

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He is now Pyongyang's special representative for the US and was involved in preparations for the summit in Hanoi between the North Korean leader and US President Donald Trump. The operation was perfectly planned as if carried out by a "military cell", sources close to the investigation were quoted as saying by the newspaper.

Victims of the alleged assault have reportedly told investigators the attackers spoke in Korean, and could have been from South Korea.

Although the majority of the assailants, who sped away in two of the embassy's cars before vanishing, have been identified as Koreans, two "have been recognised by Spanish secret services as being linked with the CIA", "El Pais" reported yesterday.

The CIA declined to comment to the BBC.

Kim Hyok-chol was expelled by the Spanish government in September 2017 in protest at North Korean nuclear tests, but he has not been replaced at the embassy, located in a quiet suburban area outside the Spanish capital.

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Spanish investigators are staying tight-lipped, and the New York Times reports neither the employee who escaped nor the embassy has filed a formal police complaint.

Spain would not be pleased foreign agencies had worked on its soil without permission.

The highly secretive investigation will be heard at Spain's High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, which could order the arrest of the identified assailants. While the United States spies have already denied their involvement, they were quite "unconvincing", government sources told the newspaper.

The only thing that's clear so far is that this story is just beginning.

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