According to reports out of the region, two North Korean agents were taken into custody in China after law enforcement foiled a plot to assassinate the nephew of North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong un.

Kim Han-sol, the target of the alleged assassination attempt, is the eldest son of the now deceased Kim Jong-nam, who was once slated to helm the reclusive North Korean state rather than his half-brother, Kim Jong un.  Kim Jong-nam was killed using nerve agent known as VX earlier this year in a Malaysian airport, in another incident that has been linked to North Korean operatives.

Following the death of Jong-nam, a number of North Korean defectors indicated that his son, Kim Han-sol would likely be the next target, citing Kim’s need to remove dissident members of the Supreme Leader’s family, as they could be perceived as barriers between Kim and amassing the support of the North Korean people.  As the grandson of previous North Korean Supreme Leader, Kim Jong il, Han-sol may still carry the respect of many North Korean citizens.

Thae Yong Ho, the former minister at London’s North Korean embassy who defected earlier this year, characterized Kim Jong-nam as “the biggest obstacle” in Kim’s pursuit of power.  Following the death of Kim Jong-nam, Thae went on to explain that Kim Han-sol is “a being that cannot be tolerated from the perspective of Kim Jong un.”