North Korea blames US for ‘grave terrorist’ act against Cuban embassy

October 1, 2023 - 5:55 PM
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North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un speaks at the second plenary meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party in this still image taken from a KRT footage on February 12, 2021. (KRT TV via Reuters)

SEOUL — North Korea accused the United States on Sunday of letting a “terrorist” act against Cuba take place on U.S. soil, saying a recent attack against the Cuban embassy in Washington was the result of “despicable anti-Cuban” U.S. intentions.

The United States has neglected to ensure the safety of the Cuban mission and was only keen to put countries it dislikes, such as Cuba, on its list of state sponsors of terrorism, a spokesman of North Korea‘s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Along with Cuba, North Korea, Syria and Iran are on the State Department list.

An assailant attacked the embassy on Sept. 24 with two Molotov cocktails. No one was hurt and there was no significant damage.

The incident was “a grave terrorist attack”, the North Korean spokesman said, adding there was a pattern as it followed a 2020 incident at the same embassy in which someone fired a rifle at the building.

“This goes to prove that the above-said incidents were committed evidently at the tacit connivance of the U.S. administration,” the unnamed spokesman said in the statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

U.S. authorities arrested and indicted a man soon after the 2020 shooting.

The United States should “acknowledge the blame for not only the recent incident but also all the past terrorist cases and probe their truth to show its sincerity,” rather than focussing on naming countries as state sponsors of terrorism, he said.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the United States strongly condemned the attack and that U.S. law enforcement authorities would investigate. No one was in custody as the investigation continued, the Secret Service has said.

The embassy reopened in 2015 when Cuba and the U.S. restored diplomatic ties. Havana has said it is unreasonable for Washington to keep Cuba on its terrorism list and maintain a Cold War-era economic embargo.

– Reporting by Jack Kim; Editing by William Mallard