North Korea Removes Top Three Military Officials Ahead Of Summit

Charlene Craig
June 4, 2018

"Kim Jong Un", Assad said, the North's state-run KCNA news agency reported, using the abbreviated version of the country's official name.

The first vice minister of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces No Kwang Chol reportedly replaced Pak Yong Sik, and Ri Myong Su's position was filled by his deputy Ri Yong Gil. Ri was thought to be a confidant of Kim's father, the late leader Kim Jong Il.

Reuters reported that usa officials feel that there was disagreement within the North Korean military as to how Kim should work with Washington and Seoul.

Trump has told reporters that he talked about "ending the war" during his meeting with Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of the central committee of the North's ruling Workers' Party, at the White House on Friday.

Also, General Kim Su-gil replaced Kim Jong-gak as director of the powerful General Political Bureau of the KPA, according to North Korean state media last month.

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The area comprising the districts of Tanglin, Newton and Orchard is where the foreign ministry, the US embassy, and several large hotels are located, including the Shangri-La hotel, mentioned as a possible venue for the June 12 summit.

The Trump administration wants the North to get rid of its nuclear arsenal, in return for relief from economic sanctions.

But North Korea's leadership is believed to regard nuclear weapons as crucial to its survival and has rejected unilaterally disarming.

There were also widespread reports that North Korea helped Syria build a nuclear plant that was destroyed by Israeli bombing in 2007.

"It looks like they needed someone who can have a firm grip on the military and dynamically push ahead with the new policies amid changes in US-North Korea relations", he added.

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'The nuclear weapons are a side issue, ' he said.

Kim Jong Un is also likely expecting to receive more global economic aid and investment soon as part of the ongoing talks and he wants to prevent corruption that plagued some past projects, Madden said.

In 2017, Pyongyang earned some 200 million dollars by shipping equipment to Syria in violation of worldwide sanctions, which were orchestrated by Washington in an effort to cut off income to the North Korean regime, The Guardian reported.

All the newly promoted officials are younger than their predecessors, including 63-year-old Ri Yong-gil, who is 21 years younger than Ri Myong-su, Reuters reported.

Should real progress be made, South Korean President Moon Jae-in's plan involves the development of three economic belts that would link his country's industrial heartland with the North and then with China and Russian Federation.

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"North Korea will receive relief only when it demonstrates verifiable and irreversible steps to denuclearisation".

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