Central Intelligence Agency linked to attack on N.Korea embassy

Spain's El Confidencial, which broke the news of the incident, also reported Wednesday that Spanish officials have linked two assailants to the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Spanish government and police have only confirmed that on February 22, emergency services attended to a North Korean woman with mild injuries on the street near the embassy. Not only would it mean that the U.S. agency had operated on Spanish soil without asking for authorization or informing the authorities, it would also be a violation of the global conventions that protect diplomatic delegations.

When officers arrived at the scene, a man opened the door and told them nothing was going on.

Ten individuals who broke into the embassy, before tying up and beating staff as they looked for information on computers, remain at large.

El País reported that Spanish investigators have ruled out the possibility that the attack was carried out by "common criminals".

Sources close to the investigation reportedly told El País that the operation was planned perfectly, as if by a "military cell".

Kim Hyok Chol, who was declared persona non grata by Spain and was invited to leave the country before the end of the month, is now one of Kim Jong-un's highly trusted diplomats, and one of the architects of the failed nuclear summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jon-un in Vietnam.

Local newspaper El Pais reported Wednesday that investigators have identified two of the 10 assailants who broke into the embassy and said they have connections to the CIA - a claim the intelligence agency has denied.

The CIA declined to comment to the BBC.

El Pais said that sources believe the attack was meant to get information on former North Korean Ambassador to Spain Kim Hyok-chol, who negotiated nuclear disarmament plans with US special envoy Stephen Biegun ahead of the US-North Korea summit in Hanoi on February 27-28.

North Korea's most recent ambassador to Spain, Kim Hyok-chol, played a key role ahead of the Hanoi summit, heading up the North Korea negotiating team that received a United States delegation in Pyongyang in early February to discuss denuclearisation.

Kim is one of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's most trusted officials.

However, it is unclear precisely why the embassy attack took place, or who was involved.

The nation's High Court, the Audiencia Nacional, will hear the investigation and could order the arrest of any identified assailants.

The only thing that's clear so far is that this story is just beginning.

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