North Korean despot Kim Jong Un was extremely drunk when he ordered the execution of two close aides to his uncle Jang Song Thaek, a Japanese newspaper has claimed.
First deputy director Ri Ryong-ha and another deputy Jang Su-gil were killed in late November.
A source told Japan's broadsheet Yomiuri Shimbun that Kim was "very drunk" when he ordered the pair to be killed.
The newspaper claimed the pair had questioned the order from Kim to hand over complete control of a successful business to the military. They allegedly told him they needed to check with Jang, something which is said to have sealed the fate of Kim's uncle.
"Those who were close [to the pair] were surprised by their execution, and called their friends living abroad, and the South Korean government tapped their phone calls," the newspaper reported. The claim has not been verified yet by other agencies.
But it was this, the source said, which made the South Korean government aware that Jang's execution was imminent.
This week, the country was visited for the second time by "basketball diplomat" Dennis Rodman.
Leaving the country on Monday night, via Beijing, Rodman declined to answer questions from reporters on whether he had met with Kim.
On Sunday night, he told The Associated Press that he had not yet had a meeting with the leader.