Kim Jong-un is reported to have ordered the execution of his uncle after finding out about a plan to topple him as leader of North Korea.
Jang Song-thaek secretly enlisted the help of China in 2012 to overthrow Kim and replace him with his half-brother Kim Jong-nam, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asian Review.
Sources told the newspaper that the then-Chinese president Hu Jintao did not immediately give an answer to whether Beijing would help to oust the leader.
The alleged coup was discovered by Zhou Yongkang, a former member of China’s Politburo Standing Committee who had close ties to North Korea, before it could be acted on.
After hearing of the plot, Kim reportedly “flew into a rage” and ordered the arrest and execution of his uncle in December 2013.
Following Jang’s arrest, a statement from North Korean state media described him as “human scum, who was worse than a dog”, claiming that he …