According to the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, the pair questioned an order from the dictator to hand over control of a business to the military. Sources told the newspaper Kim was “upset” when they said they needed to check with “Director Jang” first.
The leader’s uncle, who was removed from power and killed as part of a recent high-profile purge, was head of the ruling Workers’ Party administrative department.
His close aides, first deputy director Ri Ryong-ha and another deputy Jang Su-gil, were among the first prominent figures to be executed in late November.
According the Yomiuri’s source, Kim was “very drunk” when he ordered they be killed.