Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(LEAD) N. Korea brings in moderate as new defense minister

All Headlines 22:54 June 03, 2018

(ATTN: UPGRADES attribution; CHANGES dateline; UPDATES throughout with comments from intelligence source)

SEOUL/TOKYO, June 3 (Yonhap) -- All of North Korea's three top military officials are believed to have been replaced, an intelligence source said Sunday, in a move that could be aimed at taming the military ahead of a denuclearization deal with the U.S.

No Kwang-chol, first vice minister of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces, replaced Pak Yong-sik as defense chief, while Ri Myong-su, chief of the KPA's general staff, was replaced by his deputy, Ri Yong-gil, according to the source.

These changes are in addition to Army Gen. Kim Su-gil's replacement of Kim Jong-gak as director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army. The replacement was confirmed in a North Korean state media report last month.

Earlier in the day, a Japanese newspaper carried a similar report.

"The North appears to have brought in new figures amid the changes in inter-Korean relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula as the previous officials lacked flexibility in thinking," the source said. "In particular, No Kwang-chol has been classified as a moderate person."

The changes could also be aimed at taming the military because members of the armed forces could object to a denuclearization deal that leader Kim could make in the summit talks with U.S. President Donald Trump set for June 12 in Singapore.

The replacements may also represent a generational change, another intelligence source said.

In this image, captured from North Korea's Korean Central Television on July 26, 2017, Pak Yong-sik, minister of the North's People's Armed Forces, gives a speech in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

(END)

Issue Keywords
Most Liked
Most Saved
Most Viewed More
HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!