North Korea 'preparing to launch terror attacks on South', spy agency says

South Korean president urges parliament to encat new anti-terror laws on basis of new information

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The Independent Online

Kim Jong-un has ordered North Korean military and intelligence chiefs to prepare to carry out terror attacks on South Korea, politicians in Seoul have said.

Citing new information from its state spy agency, the South Korean government said there was reason to believe the North planned to kidnap or poison its citizens and launch cyberwarfare attacks.

An urgent meeting was called between the ruling party and the government to discuss North Korea, after which the presidential office called for new anti-terror laws to combat the apparent threat.

Lee Chul-woo, a ruling party politician, claimed there was evidence to suggest the order to prepare for terror attacks came from Mr Kim himself, Yonhap reported.

The North Korean ruler was pictured apparently signing off on recent nuclear tests and long-range rocket launches ordered by Pyongyang, to which the South responded with a range of sanctions and measures.

And speaking on Thursday night, a spokesman for South Korean president Park Geun-hye said: "The possibility of North Korea launching terror attacks on the South has become more viable."

A number of anti-terror bills are currently pending in the National Assembly, some of which were first proposed in 2011.

But they have met with staunch opposition among politicians who are unwilling to extend the powers of the National Interlligence Service.

Support gew at the end of last year following the Paris attacks, however, and presidential press secretary Kim Sung-woo said the most urgent goal in the face of North Korean aggression should be to protect the lives of South Korean people.