North Korea has reportedly issued an execution order against impeached South Korean president Park Geun-hye, accusing her of plotting the assassination of their supreme leader, Kim Jong-un. Pyongyang has demanded that the new South Korean government hand her over immediately to the regime or face dire consequences.
The North had earlier claimed that Seoul's National Intelligence Service (NIS) and the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) colluded to kill Kim using bio-chemical weapons during the country's Founder's Day celebrations on 15 April. The regime had also threatened to launch Korea-style attacks on the two spy agencies in retaliation.
In a joint statement issued by the North's Ministry of State Security, the Ministry of People's Security and the Central Public Prosecutors Office on Wednesday (28 June), they claimed that they have evidence that Park "pushed forward the operation of 'removing the north's leadership' in collusion with the [National] Intelligence Service during her tenure".
The statement also added that Park had wanted to assassinate their leader "since the end of 2015 and even the 'assassination' plot was included in the secret operational plan that was spearheaded by NIS". The plan was to disguise the assassination as a car or train accident to prevent any armed conflict, it added.
The ministries also said that at that time Park was convinced by the NIS that the situation in Pyongyang was volatile and hence, apt for a regime change. However, the plan could not be put into action because of Pyongyang's vigilance, they added.
Meanwhile, with regard to the alleged attempt to assassinate Kim in April, the ministries issued death penalties for both Park and an ex-director of NIS.
"We declare at home and abroad that we will impose death penalty on traitor Park Geun-hye and ex-Director of the puppet Intelligence Service Ri Pyong Ho and their groups, criminals of hideous state-sponsored terrorism who hatched and pressed for the heinous plot to hurt the supreme leadership of the DPRK," the joint statement noted using the official name of the country, according to KCNA news agency.
"We declare that in case the US and the South Korean puppet forces again attempt at hideous state-sponsored terrorism targeting the supreme leadership ... we will impose summary punishment without advance notice," the statement further warned.
In the recent past, North Korea has been issuing warnings to the US and South Korea, accusing them of fuelling tensions in the Korean peninsula by militarising the zone. It had warned that it will turn the US and its deployed forces in the peninsula into ashes if it attempts to attack the country.
At one point, the war-like situation had even prompted North Korea's neighbours like China and Russia to take precautionary measures to protect their borders. Both the nations had reportedly put their military on high alert and had placed their aircraft fleets in combat mode.
Tensions further escalated with North Korea's frequent missile tests, which were strongly condemned by the US, South Korea and their other allies, including Japan.
The high-tension situation calmed slightly over the past month followed by a rare offer made by North Korea to the US. In a recent interview to an Indian television channel, North's ambassador to India, Kye Chun Yong, said that their regime was ready to halt its missile tests if the US agrees to demilitarise the Korean peninsula and stops military exercises in the region.