14:03 GMT +327 June 2019
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    DPRK leader Kim Jong-un at a ceremony to open a new residential area on Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang.

    'No Reality Would Match': Pentagon Brushes Off Claims of Attempt to Murder Kim

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    The claims by Pyongyang the United States and South Korea tried to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are baseless, US Department of Defense spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said in a briefing on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, North Korea accused US and South Korean intelligence agencies of having conducted an assassination attempt against Kim Jong-un.

    "I am familiar with the media reports, but I am familiar with no reality that would match them," Davis told reporters.

    The situation on the Korean peninsula aggravated in recent months as North Korea carried out a number of missile launches and nuclear tests , which are considered to be in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

    The most recent missile test allegedly took place on April 29 from a site north of Pyongyang. Japan, South Korea and the United States said the test appeared to have failed as the missile broke-up within North Korean territory.

    On May 3, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States is preparing to impose additional sanctions on North Korea if Pyongyang continues to pursue ballistic and nuclear weapons.

    As a response to the potential use of nuclear weapons, the United States sent a strike group led by US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula in early April, where it began exercises with the South Korean navy.

    US media reported on mid-April that US President Donald Trump might order a strike against North Korea in light of its military activities. The North Korean top officials said the country was ready for nuclear attacks in case of possible US military aggression.

    The crisis is aggravated by the deployment of the US THAAD air defense system in South Korea.

    The THAAD agreement was reached by Seoul and Washington in July 2016. The move came amid growing tensions spurred by North Korea's recurring ballistic and nuclear missile tests.

    The THAAD system has a range of some 200 kilometers (125 miles) and is designed to intercept short, medium and intermediate ballistic missiles at the terminal incoming stage. The move to deploy it in South Korea has been criticized by neighboring China and Russia as inappropriate, possibly disproportionate, and affecting other countries' interests.

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    Tags:
    Pentagon, Jeff Davis, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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