Representatives of Kim Jong-un’s regime in Lima had reportedly joined forces with a militant wing of the Peruvian Communist Party (PR) and discussed murdering relatives of staff at the United States embassy.
They were prevented from carrying out any attacks after police learned of their plans by listening in on phone conversations between a top North Korean diplomat and radical PR members, according to Argentinian news agency Infobae.
And officers running the wiretaps discovered diplomats from the hermit state, along with the Marxist-Leninist leaders of PR, were plotting to “attack relatives, as wives and children, of officials of the US embassy in Lima”.
They also discussed the possibility of “killing” them if war broke out on the Korean Peninsula.
Representatives of Kim’s regime have now been expelled from the South American country.
PR yesterday admitted to having ties with diplomats from North Korea, Infobae reported.
But the party denied being part of a criminal plot, arguing they had simply maintained links with the rogue state as part of a “friendly, diplomatic relationship”.
Rolando Breña, general secretary of the group, said: “This plot does not exist, we would be too unintelligent to plan this over the phone.
“They think we are so foolish to plan a murder by telephone.”
Addressing a press conference, Mr Breña admitted he had visited the hermit kingdom in the past, but refused to specify how long ago the trip was.
He said: “These are diplomatic meetings or anniversaries, important national events, as all diplomatic delegations do”.
He insisted the link between PR and North Korea ”is not uncommon”, but he added he had not attended such a meeting for many years.
In March last year, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski expelled three of the secretive state’s six embassy staff out of the country.
Following Kim’s missile test in September, which terrified residents when it blasted over Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, President Kuczynski ordered the embassy’s ambassador out of the country.
(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.)