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The group claiming responsibility for the North Korean embassy incident in Madrid seeks to overthrow leader Kim Jong-un Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department said Tuesday the U.S. had "nothing to do" with a commando-style break-in at North Korea's Embassy in Madrid, after a Spanish judge said the raid leader contacted the FBI soon afterward.

Driving the news: Judge José de la Mata Adrian said the U.S.-based alleged gang leader contacted the FBI in New York "5 days after the assault" on the embassy to offer data stolen in the raid. The armed intruders seek the "liberation of North Korea" and had tried unsuccessfully to persuade an embassy official to defect, Adrian said. They "beat their occupants, until they managed to reduce them and put shackles and flanges to immobilize them."

Why it matters: These are the first details to emerge of the February 22 incident, after the Spanish High Court judge lifted a secret decree on the investigation. The judge outlines in his summary an escape trail to the U.S. after the incident, which happened days before President Trump met with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un at a summit in Hanoi.

Details: Adrian said 2 American citizens were among the 10 intruders, including Adrian Hong Chang, the Mexican-born leader. Chang contacted the FBI after returning to the U.S. from Spain to "provide information regarding the incident at the embassy, ​​as well as the audiovisual material allegedly obtained," the judge said.

  • Adrian did not identify the group involved, but Cheollima Civil Defense, a group that seeks to overthrow Kim's regime, said in a statement later Tuesday it had entered the embassy by invitation.

What they're saying: CCD denied its members were armed and rejected that they had gagged or beaten anyone. "There were no other governments involved with or aware of our activity until after the event," it said. "The organization shared certain information of enormous potential value with the FBI in the United States, under mutually agreed terms of confidentiality. This information was shared voluntarily and on their request, not our own." The group said the Hanoi summit had "no relation to this operation."

The other side: State Department spokesperson Robert Palladino told a press briefing "the United States government had nothing to do with this" and the U.S. would "always call for the protection of embassies belonging to any diplomatic mission throughout the world." He directed further questions to Spain, citing the ongoing investigation. The FBI declined to comment on the report.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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NRA declares bankruptcy, says it will reincorporate in Texas

Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association (NRA) speaks during CPAC in 2016. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The National Rifle Association said Friday it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will seek to reincorporate in Texas, calling New York, where it is currently registered, a "toxic political environment."

The big picture: The move comes just months after New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the NRA, alleging the group committed fraud by diverting roughly $64 million in charitable donations over three years to support reckless spending by its executives.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.