A close associate of the reportedly disgraced uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seeking asylum in South Korea, local media say.
Jang Song Thaek's aide, who managed Jang's funds, requested asylum about two months ago and is currently in China under the protection of South Korean officials, South Korea's cable news network YTN said, citing a source familiar with the matter.
A spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry, Kim Eui-do, said the defection report could not be confirmed.
South Korea's National Intelligence Service said this week that Jang, the de-facto No.2 in North Korea, was removed from his positions, possibly in late November. Two of his close associates were executed last month, it said.
The reports have not been confirmed.