Friday, July 02, 2010

North Korea repeated denials of plot to kill defector Hwang Jang-jop

North Korea's relationship with South Korea has dipped further as a result of a Seoul court jailing two North Koreans for plotting to assassinate a prominent high-ranking North Korean defector.

North Korea has repeatedly denied the existence of the plot to kill Hwang Jang-jop. The two Koreans, Kim and Tong, admitted during their trial that they pretended to be defectors and had a secret mission to kill Hwang, a former senior member of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party.

South Korean prosecutors asked for 15-year sentences for the two North Korean men, both age 36, but the judge reduced this to 10 years each. A lesser sentence was handed down because the accused had no choice to do other than what they were told, the judge said. The two men also cooperated fully with the investigation.

"The defendants admit all the charges, and testimony from other defectors and former agents verified their statements," said a senior judge.

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