North Korea Names New Armed Forces Minister

Created: 2013-05-13 17:03 EST

Category: World > Asia Pacific
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North Korea has replaced a general who headed its armed forces ministry, in a further reshuffling of top brass by young leader Kim Jong-un.
 
General Jang Jong-nam was named "minister of the People's Armed Forces" by state news agency KCNA, the third official to take the role since Kim Jong-un formally assumed power in North Korea just over a year ago.
 
South Korea's defence ministry said on Monday it has been carefully monitoring the North since the announcement of the new minister.
 
[Kim Min-seok, South Korean Defence Ministry]:(male korean)
"We have been carefully tracking the movement of North Korean military, including the replacement of a major figure. Further investigation is needed to find out whether the figure is a hard-liner. But it appears that he is from a younger generation,"
 
The announcement indicates the replacement of armed forces ministry chief Kim Kyok-sik, reputed to have been behind the 2010 shelling of a South Korean island that killed four people.
 
Frequent reshuffles of top army figures have triggered speculation the 30-year old Kim Jong-un, the third of his family to rule North Korea, may be seeking to reassert the power of the Workers' Party of Korea over the country's generals.
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