North Korea says Madrid embassy raid was 'terror attack'

North Korea calls Madrid embassy break-in “a grave terrorist attack”

North Korea calls Madrid embassy break-in “a grave terrorist attack”

A break-in at the North Korean embassy in Spain last month was "a grave terrorist attack", a representative from North Korea's foreign ministry said on Sunday in the North's first official comment on the incident.

The 10 people who allegedly raided the North Korean Embassy in Madrid last month belong to a mysterious dissident organization that styles itself as a government-in-exile dedicated to toppling the ruling Kim family dynasty in North Korea.

Spanish authorities announced on Tuesday that they are seeking 10 men who allegedly entered the embassy on February 22, armed with knives, metal bars and dummy guns, before tying staff up and trying to convince the economics officer to defect.

Pyongyang asked Spain to investigate the "grave terrorist attack" and "flagrant violation of global law", state-run KCNA news agency reported.

However, North Korea stopped short of blaming Washington directly for the raid and asked Spanish authorities to conduct the investigation in a responsible manner.

The incident in Madrid came just days ahead of the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on February 27-28.

A USA official said the organisation is named Cheollima Civil Defence, a little-known group that recently called for global solidarity in the fight against North Korea's Government.

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Heads of state from Pacific countries, including Fiji's President Jioji Konkrote will also be in attendance, she added. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke at the televised event, along with Muslim leaders and a survivor of the attack.

According to investigating judge Jose de la Mata, two of the assailants took the embassy's commercial attache to an underground room and urged him to defect, which he refused to do.

He added that North Korea was pressuring Spanish authorities to confirm the identity of the group responsible for the raid.

A secretive North Korean dissident group - called Cheollima Civil Defense (CCD) - claimed responsibility for the raid but disputed allegations of an "attack" involving armed intruders.

It said the raid had no links to the Hanoi summit - which ended abruptly with no agreement - and that no other governments were involved until after the event.

A general view of North Korea's embassy in Madrid, Spain.

It said no information from the embassy "was shared with any parties with the expectation of any benefit or money in exchange" but that it had "shared certain information of enormous potential value with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States".

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