Whether based on fact or propaganda, The Telegraph reports aides loyal to the North Korea's heir apparent, Kim Jong-un, planned to attack his exiled elder brother last year in retaliation for his off-message comments about the need for reform in the Stalinist dictatorship.
Apparantly the plot had been firmly scotched by China.The paper added that Jong-nam has close ties with China's network of "princelings", the coterie of sons and daughters of senior Chinese officials who have powerful business interests and family political connections in China.
Jong-nam has periodically given interviews to the Japanese and South Korean media, often speaking with a frankness and informality that is not in step with secretive regime.
Last weekend in an interview with Japan's Asahi Television, Jong-Nam made critical comments, saying that he was "opposed" to the idea of hereditary succession in his homeland and hinting at the need for economic reforms to raise living standards in the bankrupt state where millions live below the breadline.
Jong-nam also sayid he will continue to stay abroad, indicating there is no room for him to play in North Korea's current power structure.