SEOUL - North Korea said on Wednesday (June 28) it has issued a standing order for the execution of former South Korean President Park Geun Hye and her spy chief for a plot to assassinate its leader.
The North's official KCNA said "revelation showed" Park had masterminded a plot to execute its "supreme leadership" in 2015 and it was imposing the "death penalty on traitor Park Geun Hye", reported Reuters.
KCNA did not disclose the source of the revelation but a Japanese newspaper reported this week that Park in 2015 approved a plan to overturn the North Korean regime of leader Kim Jong Un.
Park was ousted in March over a corruption scandal and is in detention while on trial.
Japan's Asahi Shimbun had reported that Park approved a covert plan to oust Mr Kim, which included the possibility of assassination.
The plan was floated when the conservative Park was growing frustrated and taking a more confrontational approach against Pyongyang, according to a source knowledgeable about policy during Park's administration.
The careful planning included measures to cover any trace of Seoul's hands in such operations, as any change in North Korean leadership that had an inkling of South Korean involvement could result in military retaliation.
The plotters apparently considered staging an "accident" on the road or over water to eliminate Mr Kim. However, the prospects of a mission were prevented by tight security for Mr Kim.
Sources told Asahi Shimbun that the plans to bring down Mr Kim were also spurred by intelligence reports that described an unstable North Korean society suffering from power and water shortages, as well as a paranoid leadership.
The reports led to the belief that regime change was possible in North Korea, despite contrary reports that suggested the situation in North Korea was stable.
It is believed that the new South Korean President Moon Jae In is unlikely to have adopted the plan to oust Mr Kim.