The eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is said to have faced an assassination attempt during a visit to Austria last month, but Austrian authorities say there was no plot.

South Korea's Yonhap news, quoting an unidentified government source, says people close to Kim Jong-nam's younger brothers plotted to kill him. The inner workings of the communist nation's first family have long been secretive and the subject of speculation.

Yonhap reports Austrian authorities received a tip ahead of Mr. Kim's visit and kept him under close guard. However, in Vienna today (Sunday) a spokesman for the Austrian Interior Ministry denied there had been any attempt on Mr. Kim's life.