South Korean media says three top North Korean military officials have been replaced. South Korean Yonhap News Agency citing intelligence said Ri Yong Gil has risen to chief of the Korean People’s Army’s general staff.
The source also reportedly said that No Kwang Chol now heads the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces. Earlier, North Korea’s state-run media confirmed that Kim Su Gil, the top Pyongyang official of the governing Workers’ Party, had become the director of the army’s general political bureau.
The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also confirmed that all three of the North’s top military officials were believed to have been replaced.
Observers said North Korea’s leadership is trying to contain hardliners within the military ahead of a first-ever US-North Korea summit next week. Denuclearization is expected to be high on the agenda in the talks.