|Aims. We selected two radio quasars (J1036+1326 and J1353+5725) based on their 1.4-GHz radio structure, which is dominated by a bright central core and a pair of weaker and nearly symmetric lobes at ∼10′′ angular separation. They are optically identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) at spectroscopic redshifts z > 3. We investigate the possibility that their core-dominated triple morphology can be a sign of restarted radio activity in these quasars, involving a significant repositioning of the radio jet axis. Methods. We present the results of high-resolution radio imaging observations of J1036+1326 and J1353+5725, performed with the European Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Network (EVN) at 1.6 GHz. These data are supplemented by archive observations from the Very Large Array (VLA). We study the large- and small-scale radio structures and the brightness temperatures, then estimate relativistic beaming parameters.
Results. We show that the central emission region of these two high-redshift, core-dominated triple sources is compact but resolved at ∼10 milli-arcsecond resolution. We find that it is not necessary to invoke large misalignment between the VLBI jet and the large-scale radio structure to explain the observed properties of the sources.|