North Korea has reportedly accused the CIA and South Korea of a plot to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
The allegations were reported amid heightened tensions over a series of weapons tests carried out by the totalitarian state.
Donald Trump has vowed to “properly deal” with Pyongyang, raising fears of a pre-emptive strike that could provoke a nuclear response.
The US House of Representatives has overwhelmingly approved legislation tighten sanctions on North Korea by targeting its shipping industry and companies that do business with the reclusive state.
Supporters hoped it would send a strong message to North Korea, amid international concern over the escalation of its nuclear programme.
If the sanctions are approved by the Senate and become law, they are likely to affect China, Pyongyang’s most important trade partner.
Beijing has been angered by North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and supported US sanctions, but foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said it opposes other countries using their own domestic law to impose unilateral sanctions.
He urged all sides need to exercise restraint and not irritate each other to avoid the situation worsening.