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    This April 13, 2016 file photo shows the seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

    US-N Korean Relations May Suffer if CIA Role in Embassy Attack Proven – Activist

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    On 22 February, a group of intruders, allegedly tied to the CIA, broke in the North Korean Embassy in Madrid, reports say. Speaking to Sputnik, Alejandro Cao de Benos, a special delegate for North Korea's Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, shared his views on the attack and its potential consequences for US-North Korean ties.

    The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) may have had a hand in the February attack on the North Korean embassy in Madrid, El Pais newspaper suggested on 13 March, citing investigators from the Spanish police and National Intelligence Centre (CNI).

    According to the media outlet, "at least two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy [on 22 February] and interrogated diplomatic staff have been identified and have connections to the US intelligence agency".

    Speaking to Sputnik Mundo, Alejandro Cao de Benos, a special delegate for North Korea's Committee for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries, warned against leaping to conclusions.

    "At the moment, this information has been leaked by journalists who stay in contact with the National Intelligence Centre, but no official statements have been made yet. That is, there was contradictory information about what really happened", Benos pointed out.

    He elaborated that earlier El Confidiential, a Spanish online newspaper, reported that the embassy's mobile mast was disabled. However, having received information from the operator company in charge of this antenna, other journalists later confirmed that nothing happened there, the special delegate noted.

    Thus, different versions contradict each other, being based on the media's personal contacts with police agents and the CNI, he presumed.

    "I prefer to be cautious," Benos emphasised, "And therefore I want to note that although one of the most respected Spanish newspapers, El Pais, wrote that the CIA could be involved [ in the case] and that two of the attackers had been identified as CIA agents, you should wait for the official confirmation of this version. And, of course, we should at least wait for a condemnation of this attack — regardless of who conducted it — by the Spanish government, which has yet to happen".

    When asked whether the attack affected the US-North Korea summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un on 27-28 February in Hanoi, the special delegate opined that it had zero impact.

    "This did not affect the diplomatic meeting of the two leaders", Benos said. "During the meeting, the sides discussed the denuclearisation of Korea in exchange for the lifting of US sanctions and the [formal] ending of the Korean war".

    However, he did not rule out that "if the CIA was involved in the attack, this, of course, will affect possible contacts and future negotiations".

    On 22 February, a group of 10 attackers reportedly broke into the building belonging to the diplomatic mission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and interrogated eight people inside less than a week before the Trump-Kim meeting in Hanoi.

    According to El Confidiential, the intruders gagged and tied up the employees of the embassy and stole computers. One of the embassy's workers managed to escape and report the matter to the police. Some of the personnel that had suffered the assault claimed that the members of the gang spoke Korean.

    Still, both El Confidential and El Pais cited mounting suspicions that the way the assailants acted coincides with the 'modus operandi' of the US secret services.

    "If it is proven that the CIA was behind the attack, it could lead to a diplomatic spat between Madrid and Washington", El Pais wrote, adding that "government sources say that it would be 'unacceptable' for an ally to take such action".

    Madrid has yet to issue an official statement on the reported event.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    Tags:
    covert operations, embassy, attack, Trump-Kim Summit, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), Madrid, United States, Spain
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