Knife with warning sent to SKorean defense minister

South Korean authorities investigate possible North Korea link to threatening package intended for defense chief

Knife with warning sent to SKorean defense minister

World Bulletin/News Desk

South Korean authorities intercepted a parcel containing a knife bearing a threatening message and addressed to the country’s Defense Minister Han Min-koo, it was revealed Friday.

The package, which was first discovered in late August, also contained a letter and around 20 grams of suspicious white powder that turned out to be flour, according to Seoul’s defense ministry.

Images of the 32.8-centimeter kitchen knife were disclosed to the media – one side of the blade bore the defense minister’s name in red, while the other side carried a single-word message: “execution.”

A two-page accompanying letter was sent by the “International Peace Action Corps” and accused Kim of “bringing a fire cloud of a nuclear war to the Korean Peninsula.”

“I’ve decided to punish him out of concern that just leaving you like this would kill the whole people,” the letter went on.

According to local news agency Yonhap, a defense ministry official confirmed that investigators were open to a possible link between North Korea and the suspect, “presumed to be in his 20s or 30s.”

Local authorities are understood to be basing their probe on footage of a man wearing a black shirt and cap in a convenience store in Seoul, apparently preparing the parcel in question.

The knife was discovered in late August by a delivery person, after the package had been returned because of an inaccurate address – though the defense minister had been the intended recipient.

The incident was reminiscent of a letter and powder sent to the previous defense chief last year.

On that occasion, the note threatened to bring punishment forward if North Korea’s “highest dignity” were challenged.

News of this latest threat arrived ahead of a busy weekend of nationwide celebrations – South Korea’s Chuseok holiday officially begins Sunday and public workers are not due to return to their desks until Thursday.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Eylül 2014, 15:16

Muhammed Öylek