North Korea has issued standing orders for the execution of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye and her spy chief in response to what Pyongyang said was an aborted plot to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The official Korean Central News Agency said late Wednesday that the effective assassination decree was in response to an alleged plan by Park and her spy chief, Lee Byoung-ho, to commit "state-sponsored terrorism" targeting the country's top leadership.

Park was ousted earlier this year in an influence-peddling scandal.