Tuesday, May 14, 2013

North Korean defence chief replaced as Kim Jong-un solidifies grip on military

North Korea has replaced its hardline defence chief with a little-known army general, according to a state media report, in what outside analysts call an attempt to solidify Kim Jong-un's grip on the powerful military.

Jang Jong-nam's appointment is seen as the latest move by Kim aimed at trying to consolidate control since succeeding his late father in 2011. The announcement comes as tensions eased after weeks of warlike threats between North and South Korea, including vows of nuclear strikes from the North.

Pyongyang's rhetorical outbursts against massive US and South Korean war drills and UN sanctions over the North's February nuclear test were seen, in part, as a push to portray Kim at home as a respected military commander on the world stage.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/13/north-korean-defence-kim-jong-un