North Korea’s Ministry of State Security on Friday accused South Korea and the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States of plotting to assassinate its leader Kim Jong-Un, reported Korea’s Yonhap News. The claim comes amid growing tensions between North Korea, the US and South Korea.

The US and Seoul-run agencies were “supporting” a terrorist group that had infiltrated North Korea to stage an attack against Kim using “bio-chemical substances”, the ministry claimed. “We will ferret out and mercilessly destroy to the last one the terrorists of the US, CIA,” the ministry said in a statement carried by Yonhap News.

It further said a “Korean-style anti-terrorist attack” had been started right away “to sweep away the plot-breeding organisations of the US imperialists and the puppet clique”.

In April, US President Donald Trump had warned of a “major conflict” was possible owing to North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes. “We would love to solve things diplomatically but it is very difficult,” he had said.

Trump had announced that his administration would prevent the North from targeting its mainland with nuclear weapons. Tension started brewing since April 7 when Trump ordered a missile attack in Syria as retaliatory measure to a deadly chemical attack. On April 11, the North Korean state media had warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of American aggression. The US had dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb on Afghanistan on April 13.