In Brief

Is China linked to death of Kim Jong-un's uncle?

Kim accused of ordering execution in 'rage' over plot to topple him

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is accused of ordering his uncle's death because Jang Song-thaek was plotting a coup and seeking China's help, according to a report in Japan's Nikkei Asian Review.

Jang reportedly travelled to Beijing in August 2012 to convince Hu Jintao, then-Chinese president, to back a plot to replace Kim with his elder half-brother, reports Nikkei Asian Review

China's head of state security, Zhou Yongkang, reportedly tipped off the North Korean leader – an act for which he was jailed, the Japanese publication says.

There were "hints" of a power challenge at the time of Jang's execution in December 2013, the Daily Telegraph reports. State media accused him of betrayal and attempting to "bring down" the DPRK.

It is not clear whether Kim's half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, was involved, "although his assassination in Kuala Lumpur airport in February with VX gas would suggest that Kim Jong-un was taking no chances that he might one day usurp him", the Daily Telegraph reports. 

If Kim Jong-nam was involved in a coup plot, that could explain "why Kim went after his half-brother", author Bradley Martin told the Telegraph.

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