North Korea denies plot to kill top defector

SEOUL, May 5, 2010 (AFP) - North Korea denied Wednesday it had sent spies to assassinate a top-ranking defector in South Korea and accused Seoul of making up the story to fuel tensions.

North Korea's official website Uriminzokkiri said the spy case was a "ridiculous fabrication" by Seoul's conservative government to justify its tough stance on Pyongyang.

Tensions are high after a South Korean warship sank in March with the death of 46 sailors near the disputed inter-Korean border. Suspicions of a North Korean torpedo attack are growing but unproven.

South Korean prosecutors said on April 20 that two elite North Korean military officers had tried to kill Hwang Jang-Yop after themselves entering South Korea in the guise of defectors.

Hwang, the architect of the North Korean regime's ideology of "juche," or self-reliance, was once secretary of the ruling Workers' Party and a tutor to leader Kim Jong-Il.

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