Politics 04-06-2018

Summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un: Pyonyang replaces its main military leaders

According to analysts the readjustment in the government allows the North Korean leader to reinforce control over the Army at a critical moment of international commitment and national development.

North Korea has replaced its top three military officers shortly before the planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore Yonhap reports citing a source of intelligence.

No Kwang-chol first deputy minister of the People's Armed Forces replaced Pak Yong-sik as head of the Ministry of Defense while Ri Myong-su, head of the Army General Staff, was replaced by his deputy Ri Yong- Gil according to the source.

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

"The North seems to have brought new figures amid changes in inter-Korean relations and the situation on the Korean peninsula sinceprevious officials lacked flexibility of thought " the intelligence official told Yonhap in particular identifying No Kwang-chol the new defense minister as a "moderate" politician.

The motivation behind the readjustment

The readjustment in the North Korean Government was also confirmed by an anonymous US official who did not identify the outgoing figures Reuters reports.

Kim Jong-un's motivation remains unclear but US analysts told the agency that the reorganization allows the North Korean leader and the ruling party toreinforce control over the Armyat a critical moment of international commitment and national development.

Apart from an effort by Kim to consolidate his military command before the summit, the readjustment in the government could also represent according to Reuters sourcesa generational transition since all newly appointed officials are younger than their predecessors.

The talks between Trump and Kim Jong-un were fraught with uncertainty after the US president announced at the end of Maythat he was canceling the meeting because of the "open hostility" shown by the Asian country.

However, later the head of the White House declared that the summit could be held.

Last Thursday North Korean General Kim Yong-chol and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in New York todiscussthe summit.

The next day Trumpconfirmedthat the summit will be held in Singapore as planned.

RT

 
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