One of the hitherto unanswered questions concerning the crisis in North Korea is why doesn’t China just get rid of Kim Jong-un? Things would be better all around if someone more sane and more pliable were in charge. Hot Air is reporting that something like a Chinese-backed coup attempt has already taken place, and, unfortunately, went sideways.

Kim’s uncle tried to get Chinese help to replace the North Korean leader

The story starts in 2012, about a year after Kim became supreme leader, when his uncle Jang Song Thaek met with Chinese president Hu Jintao in Beijing and proposed that Kim Jong-un be liquidated and replaced with his half brother, Kim Jong-nam.

Hu did not commit either way, having some domestic policy concerns occupying his time.

As it turned out, an ally of Kim Jong-un’s in the Chinese leadership, Zhou Yongkang, got wind of the plot and ratted Jang out to his nephew. Jang and his associates were either fed to a pack of wild, ravenous dogs, or were blown apart with an anti-aircraft gun, depending on who is telling the story. Later, Kim had his half brother assassinated at the airport in Kuala Lumpur using a VX nerve agent.

Does this explain Kim’s current behavior?

Kim Jong-un, for a time, at least, made almost daily threats to visit nuclear destruction on the United States and her allies, backing them up with missile tests and the occasional explosion of an atomic bomb.

He only stopped when President Trump started issuing threats of his own and China started applying diplomatic and economic pressure. However, insane boasts and maniacal threats are just the sort of thing that an insecure dictator undertakes when he wants to puff himself up. If he can take on the United States and make it cower, then he can reassure himself that he is safe from harm.

It is unfortunate for Kim that he is up against Donald J. Trump, who, whatever else one says about him, does not cower. Moreover, Trump has killing gentlemen like James Mattis backing him up.

China’s options are limited

However, China is not going to orchestrate a coup anytime soon. No one in the North Korean military is going to join in on a plot to get rid of the Dear Leader after watching the people in the last conspiracy either eaten alive by wild dogs or blown apart with heavy artillery.

They would much prefer to avoid a grisly death by staying loyal to Kim, at least for now. In any case, barring an accident or bravery on the part of someone, the North Korean supreme leader is not going away anytime soon.