Close
Date TimeJune 04, 2018
VoiceNorth Korea's top three military officials have been replaced ahead of an historic summit between leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump, according to multiple reports.

All three appear to have been replaced by younger Kim loyalists, part of an ongoing transformation of the country's political and military establishment since the young leader took power in 2011.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency, citing an unnamed intelligence official, reported that defense chief Pak Yong Sik had been replaced by No Kwang Chol, while Ri Myong Su, chief of the Korean People's Army (KPA) general staff, had been replaced by his deputy, Ri Yong Gil.
Army general Kim Su Gil's replacement of Kim Jong Gak as director of the KPA's general political bureau was previously referenced in North Korean state media, and confirmed Monday by South Korea's Unification Ministry, which deals with North Korean affairs.
"All these (promoted) guys are top Kim Jong Un guys," said Michael Madden, author of the highly respected North Korea Leadership Watch blog. "All three of them have held very sensitive and high level positions under Kim Jong Un, they're very loyal (to him), and all have experience interacting with foreign delegations."
The three men replaced, Pak, Ri and Kim, are 68, 81 and 77 years old respectively.
North Korea shakes up military leadership
Shoring up power
Madden said the reshuffling at the top of the North Korean military was likely done for a number of reasons, among them preparation for the Kim-Trump talks and future South Korean negotiations and exchanges.
In particular, the military's General Political Bureau (GPB) is responsible for auditing and overseeing the financial operations of the KPA, which controls a large number of trading corporations and other businesses which could be highly involved in any future inter-Korean trade or infrastructure projects.
Political commissars under the bureau are stationed throughout the KPA and can influence the army's activity at all levels.
"(Kim) is not going to want these military commissars helping themselves to any of this assistance coming to the North," Madden said. "That was a problem during the sunshine period, a lot of misappropriation and malfeasance."
He added that the size and breadth of of the GPB responsibilities is such that, more than any other North Korean organization, it presents the most realistic potential threat to Kim's own power.
"From about June 2017 to earlier this year, the KPA general political bureau was under investigation by the (ruling Worker's Party), the first time in 20 years that the GPB was under investigation," Madden said.
By bringing the GPB firmly under the Party's and his own control, Kim is likely looking to avoid a repeat of the extreme action he had to take against his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, early into his rule.
Jang, previously one of the most powerful men in North Korea, was purged and executed in 2013 after he reportedly built up an alternate power base to his nephew.

Singapore summit
Preparations are still underway for Kim and Trump's summit in Singapore, the first time a sitting US President will meet the leader of North Korea.
Trump met with former North Korean spy chief Kim Yong Chol for about 90 minutes Friday -- the highest-level North Korean official to visit the US in 18 years.
He stressed that the Singapore meeting is part of a "process" that will go on for some time: "I told them today, 'Take your time. We can go fast. We can go slowly.'"
This is something of a change from Trump's previous statements, which seemed to indicate he expected a deal to be signed in Singapore on denuclearization and other issues, and raised the possibility it may be more of a meet and greet between the two leaders.
South Korea's Blue House on Monday quashed suggestions a formal end to the Korean War could be announced at the Trump-Kim summit.
Kim is unlikely to spend much time in Singapore. Sanctions make it very difficult for senior North Korean officials to travel overseas, and Madden said Kim will also not wish to impose too much of a burden on the Singapore government, which will have to deal with onerous security arrangements caused by both leaders' presence in the city.
There has also been speculation Kim does not wish to leave North Korea for an extended period of time as this may encourage any remaining opponents to his rule to seize the opportunity to stage a coup.
In 1971, Idi Amin famously seized power in Uganda while President Milton Obote was in Singapore for a meeting of Commonwealth leaders.
Madden said any similar attempt to wrest power during the North Korean leader's absence was unlikely, pointing to Kim's previous trips to Beijing and Dalian in China, which went off without a hitch.

Related Stories
Trump calls his own intel chiefs extremely passive and naiveTrump calls his own intel chiefs 'extremely passive and naive'
US withdrawal from Syria depends on conditions, John Bolton saysUS withdrawal from Syria depends on conditions, John Bolton says
News Trends
The Real Reason Prince William and Kate Middletons Breakup Made Them StrongerThe Real Reason Prince William and Kate Middleton's Breakup Made Them Stronger
Lara Logan Trending on Twitter After Recommending Reading Breitbart to Get The Other Side'Lara Logan' Trending on Twitter After Recommending Reading Breitbart to Get 'The Other Side'
Nigel Farage slams APPALLING Angela Smith race apology - Looks like a HOSTAGE VIDEO!Nigel Farage slams 'APPALLING' Angela Smith race apology - 'Looks like a HOSTAGE VIDEO!'
Malia Obama, 20, spotted sipping on a $20 bottle of Whispering Angel Rose with friends in MiamiMalia Obama, 20, spotted sipping on a $20 bottle of Whispering Angel Rose with friends in Miami
Maajid Nawaz, LBC presenter, hurt in racially motivated attackMaajid Nawaz, LBC presenter, hurt in 'racially motivated' attack
Jussie Smollett Angered And Devastated By Claims He Played A Role In His Own AttackJussie Smollett 'Angered And Devastated' By Claims He Played A Role In His Own Attack
Labour MPs Ann Coffey, Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker And Mike Gapes Quit Party To Form The Independent GroupLabour MPs Ann Coffey, Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker And Mike Gapes Quit Party To Form 'The Independent Group'
Carmaker Honda plans to close Swindon factoryCarmaker Honda plans to close Swindon factory
Presidents Day shows how time can change legacies. Just look at Washington and LincolnPresidents Day shows how time can change legacies. Just look at Washington and Lincoln
How time spent in space creates unusual immune-system impactHow time spent in space creates unusual immune-system impact
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
Trump calls his own intel chiefs extremely passive and naiveTrump calls his own intel chiefs 'extremely passive and naive'
US withdrawal from Syria depends on conditions, John Bolton saysUS withdrawal from Syria depends on conditions, John Bolton says
News Trends
The Real Reason Prince William and Kate Middletons Breakup Made Them StrongerThe Real Reason Prince William and Kate Middleton's Breakup Made Them Stronger
Lara Logan Trending on Twitter After Recommending Reading Breitbart to Get The Other Side'Lara Logan' Trending on Twitter After Recommending Reading Breitbart to Get 'The Other Side'
Nigel Farage slams APPALLING Angela Smith race apology - Looks like a HOSTAGE VIDEO!Nigel Farage slams 'APPALLING' Angela Smith race apology - 'Looks like a HOSTAGE VIDEO!'
Malia Obama, 20, spotted sipping on a $20 bottle of Whispering Angel Rose with friends in MiamiMalia Obama, 20, spotted sipping on a $20 bottle of Whispering Angel Rose with friends in Miami
Maajid Nawaz, LBC presenter, hurt in racially motivated attackMaajid Nawaz, LBC presenter, hurt in 'racially motivated' attack
Jussie Smollett Angered And Devastated By Claims He Played A Role In His Own AttackJussie Smollett 'Angered And Devastated' By Claims He Played A Role In His Own Attack
Labour MPs Ann Coffey, Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker And Mike Gapes Quit Party To Form The Independent GroupLabour MPs Ann Coffey, Chuka Umunna, Luciana Berger, Angela Smith, Chris Leslie, Gavin Shuker And Mike Gapes Quit Party To Form 'The Independent Group'
Carmaker Honda plans to close Swindon factoryCarmaker Honda plans to close Swindon factory
Presidents Day shows how time can change legacies. Just look at Washington and LincolnPresidents Day shows how time can change legacies. Just look at Washington and Lincoln
How time spent in space creates unusual immune-system impactHow time spent in space creates unusual immune-system impact
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Scott Disick and Sofia Richie split
The Queen's EXTRAORDINARY wedding gift to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle REVEALED
Melania Trump to skip G7, North Korea summits
Jimmy Fallon Surprises Students at Parkland High School Graduation
500 quakes in 24 hours at Hawaii volcano
Massive NATO exercise starts in Poland and the Baltics
At least 7 dead, international airport closed, 1.7 million could be affected by Guatemala volcano
Fans worried about Johnny Depp's health after new photos appear online
Trump lawyer Giuliani says president can probably pardon himself
Berlin Cathedral ON LOCKDOWN - 'rampaging' knifeman shot by armed police in city centre
United States of Europe moves CLOSER as Angela Merkel backs Emmanuel Macron EU reforms
Suspect arrested after gunfire heard near San Diego marathon; police say no ongoing threat
Kim says he'll meet Assad in North Korea
Thousands of breast cancer patients could avoid chemo, study finds
Iraq sentences French woman to life for joining IS
Russian space capsule with 3 crew lands in Kazakhstan
FBI agent accidentally fires gun while dancing at a Denver nightclub
Saudi 'temporarily' frees activists who want women to be able to drive
Trump lawyers to Mueller: Trump cannot be forced to testify
Israel intercepts MISSILES fired from Gaza Strip and responds with AIRSTRIKES
A fan paid $3 million for a lunch with Warren Buffett—but you can get his best advice for free
WaPo: US determining who will pay for North Korea leader's hotel room
Nigeria World Cup football shirts capture public imagination
Replace May with Gove to sort out Brexit, Tory donor urges
Angela Merkel refuses Italy debt write-off amid fears government could DESTROY eurozone
Peckham shooting: Man 'shot in face' as London violence continues to rage
U.S. In Early Talks To Arrange Trump, Putin Summit: Report
Serena Williams to face Maria Sharapova at French Open
President Trump misses LGBTQ Pride Month again
Pedro Sánchez sworn in as Spain’s prime minister after no-confidence vote
Katy Perry accidentally posts private Orlando Bloom comment on his public Instagram page
Cellphone surveillance detected near the White House, DHS says
Visa apologises after system crash causes card payment chaos
Serena Williams shines even as she struggles at French Open
Hawaii volcano eruption: Watch CURTAIN of lava SPRING OUT of crack with devastating force
Google to drop Pentagon AI contract after employee objections to the 'business of war'
Mattis takes hard line on China in Singapore speech
MSNBC host Joy Reid apologizes for incendiary old blog posts
Theresa May attacks Donald Trump's 'unjustified' steel tariffs
Google under fire for listing 'Nazism' as the ideology of the California Republican Party
What We Know About Meghan Markle’s Life As A Duchess So Far
Trump says Singapore summit with Kim is back on
John Brennan unleashes on Trump, says president 'grandstands like a snake-oil salesman'
Cosmetics retailer Lush criticised by police over 'spycops' ad campaign
Visa Outage Across Europe Causes Payment Chaos For Millions
NASA Just Released These Incredible Images Of Earth
WATCH: TERRIFYING video shows FURIOUS cyclist pulling HUGE knife at driver
Unemployment rate falls to 3.8% as employers add 223,000 jobs in May
Donald Trump Says Samantha Bee Should Be Fired
Spanish PM forced out after losing no-confidence vote amid ongoing European turmoil
Kanye West Debuts New Album, ‘Ye,’ Via Live Stream From Wyoming
Could Tristan Thompson be suspended for Game 1 altercation with Draymond Green?
Telegram app is 'mouthpiece' for terror, Sajid Javid says as jihadi admits encouraging attack on Prince George
Ecuador's president says Julian Assange can stay in embassy 'with conditions'
Magaluf rape horror: Police arrest man over 'sex attack on British woman, 22'
Robert Mueller's Russia investigation costs near $17 million, Justice says
Justin Trudeau says retaliation against the US is necessary
Trump is starting a global trade war
The 1975 to release new song Give Yourself A Try
Roman Abramovich shelves £1bn Chelsea stadium after visa delays
ITALY LATEST: Populists say breakthrough coalition deal has been AGREED - 'We've done it!'
7000 years ago men were a sub-species ruled by WOMEN & outnumbered 20 to 1, scientists say
Fake news on WhatsApp is getting people killed in India
White House says Bee's joke was 'vile and vicious'
Trump says North Korean official bringing him a letter from Kim
Brigitte Nielsen announces pregnancy at 54
Samantha Bee calls Ivanka Trump a 'cunt,' leading Megyn Kelly to call host 'disgusting'
Trump tweets he will give full pardon to Dinesh D'Souza
Paolo Guerrero cleared to play at World Cup for Peru after doping ban frozen
Zidane steps down as Real Madrid head coach in shock announcement
Trump imposes steel, aluminum tariffs on U.S. allies and Europe plans to retaliate
Donald Trump says he didn't fire James Comey over Russia despite video evidence
Russian foreign minister meets Kim, calls for lifting of sanctions
Illinois Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment - 36 Years After the Deadline
North Korean 'spymaster' Kim Yong-chol meets Mike Pompeo in New York ahead of planned Trump summit 
Melania Trump tweets she’s ‘feeling great’ after nearly three weeks out of public eye
Russia foreign minister arrives for talks in North Korea
Julia Roberts to Present AFI Life Achievement Award to George Clooney
'The Americans' Bosses Break Down "Tragic" Series Finale
Trump And Kim Kardashian Met At The White House Because 2018
Half of world's children at risk of war, poverty, discrimination, report finds
Valerie Jarrett calls for turning Roseanne Barr's racist tweet into 'teaching moment'
Virginia poised to expand Medicaid
Sarah Sanders gets choked up after child asks about about 'senseless' school shootings
Channel 4 reveals shortlisted cities for new national HQ
What is 'Right to Try'? A look at the drug law Trump supports
Ambien maker responds to Roseanne Barr: 'Racism is not a known side effect'
Pakistan and India agree to stop exchanging fire in Kashmir
Italy at risk of new financial crisis in wake of coalition's collapse
Cleveland Cavaliers have almost no chance of winning NBA title, Vegas oddsmakers say
Jimmy Kimmel Picks Controversial Frontrunner to Win 'The Bachelorette'
TV Ratings: 'America's Got Talent' Makes a Strong Return
Paris Jackson Leaves Dior Fashion Show Because Animals ‘Whipped’
'Active Shooter' video game is pulled from Steam gaming platform after backlash from shooting survivors
Kim Kardashian meeting Kushner to discuss prison reform
'Murdered' Russian journalist appears on Ukrainian TV after staged death
Top best-selling books all time
Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu And Let's Go Eevee: Everything We Know So Far
Pusha-T Fires Back at Drake With Ferocious Diss Track ‘The Story of Adidon’ (Listen)
Liverpool to sign Brazilian Fabinho
EDL founder Tommy Robinson jailed for contempt of court
Soros-backed campaign to push for new Brexit vote within a year
More Hawaii residents forced to evacuate as Kilauea volcano danger continues
Gaza's Hamas rulers say cease-fire reached with Israel
Tesla in Autopilot mode crashes into parked police cruiser
At Rally in Nashville, Trump Links Democrats to MS-13
Roseanne Returns to Twitter: "Don't Feel Sorry For Me"
Americans Are Split Over The NFL’s Decision On Anthem Protests
‘The Daily Show’ Leaks Starbucks’ Training Video And It’s Hilarious
Santa Fe High School students to return to campus after shooting
Police: 52 patients accuse former USC gynecologist of inappropriate conduct
Seven killed, 32 wounded during Memorial Day weekend in Chicago
Hurricane Maria killed more than 4,600 people, not 64. That’s more than 70 times the official estimate.
Apple Releases iOS 11.4 With Messages in iCloud and AirPlay 2
ABC cancels 'Roseanne' after star's racist Twitter rant
One million people in France quit smoking last year
Raheem Sterling defends gun tattoo against media criticism
Israeli jets bomb Gaza after more than 25 mortar shells fired from strip
New find at Pompeii shows skeleton of man crushed trying to flee eruption
Rwanda defends $39 million sponsorship deal with Arsenal
Trump announces tariffs on China, tech crackdown ahead of key trade meeting
2 police officers and passerby shot dead in Belgium
'Spider-Man' of Paris to get French citizenship after child rescue
How scientists are using Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano to study Mars
North Korean officials and U.S. meet in Singapore ahead of summit
More than 25 mortar shells fired from Gaza, Israel says
French billionaire dead at 93
It could take 10 years for N Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, experts say
Former Aberdeen player Neale Cooper dies after collapsing at home
Roman Abramovich granted Israeli citizenship
Video Shows Police Officer Punching Woman On New Jersey Beach
Eminem responds to Nicki Minaj dating rumor
Michelle Wolf doubles down on Sarah Sanders jokes on new Netflix show
From Neighbours sweetheart to pop superstar: Kylie Minogue turns 50 – in pictures
Macron rewards migrant hero who saved dangling child in Paris
Trump marks Memorial Day with Twitter video
Italy's 'political referee' waves red card
CATASTROPHIC flash flood in Ellicott City Maryland as state of EMERGENCY declared
Ivanka Trump photo with son sparks backlash over separations at border
Driver tries to run down cops, jumps sidewalk in dramatic video
LeBron James scores 35 as Cavs advance to NBA Finals
Elon Musk has more to say about the media
'Spiderman' rescues child dangling from Paris balcony
US Navy operation threatens China's security, Beijing says
Danica crashes out of Indy 500, her final race
Chelsea Clinton: Trump 'degrades what it means to be an American'
France's Macron to host Libya summit pushing for elections
Giuliani admitted the White House is trying to discredit the Russia probe.
George H.W. Bush hospitalized for low blood pressure and fatigue
Daniel Ricciardo keeps cool in stricken car to win Monaco Grand Prix
Horrifying pictures after massive fire rips through Germany’s biggest theme park
United Kingdom sees more than 60,000 lightning strikes during thunderstorms
US delegation travels to North Korea for potential summit preparation
Warriors force Game 7 after Klay Thompson shines in 115-86 victory over Rockets
North Korea-US summit on track, says Moon, after candid talks with 'friend' Kim Jong-un
President Trump welcomes Josh Holt, American held in Venezuela, back to the US
Florida, Mississippi and Alabama declare emergencies ahead of storm Alberto
Real Madrid win Champions League as brilliant Bale sinks Liverpool
Official tally shows big win for abortion rights in Ireland
Justin Timberlake Visits Texas School Shooting Victims
Alan Bean, the 4th person to walk on the moon, dies at 86
'Worse than ever seen before' - Vladimir Putin in STARK warning of MAJOR financial CRISIS
American freed from Venezuela prison heading home, Trump says
North and South Korean leaders meet again
Irish strongly in favor of ending abortion ban, exit poll shows
Pusha T on 'Daytona': Kanye West paid $85K for Whitney Houston bathroom photo on album
Liverpool vs Real Madrid prediction: 'Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo will score but...'
New helium tank for SpaceX crew launches still waiting to fly
Irish voters appear to embrace repeal of abortion ban
2 hospitalized in Indiana school shooting, suspect in custody: Police
Tommy Robinson arrested for 'breaching the peace' outside court during grooming trial
Donald Trump says North Korea summit could be back on
Putin accuses Britain of blaming 'all their mortal sins' on Russia
Meghan Markle honoured with Coat of Arms as new Duchess welcomed by the Queen
Samantha Bee Recalls "Very Thirsty" Kellyanne Conway's Visits on 'The Daily Show'
Emilia Clarke Dishes On Her Final ‘Game Of Thrones’ Scene
TotalBiscuit, popular British gaming critic, dies at age of 33
Facebook and Google targeted as first GDPR complaints filed
Dublin-bound plane hit by another jet on Stansted runway as 1000s head for abortion vote
OPEC, Russia prepared to raise oil output under U.S. pressure
Harvey Weinstein arrested on rape charges
Alexa creepily recorded a family's private conversations, sent them to business associate
Voting begins throughout Ireland in major abortion decision
N. Korea keeps hopes of talks alive after Trump cancellation
Late-Night Hosts Deliver Trump-North Korea Meeting Postmortems
Assange's refuge in Ecuadorian embassy 'in jeopardy'
15 people injured in explosion at restaurant near Toronto
Kim Kardashian shares never-seen-before photo from wedding to Kanye West to mark four-year anniversary
Taylor Swift is doing more to stop scalpers than Ontario’s new ticket act: experts
‘There will be CONSEQUENCES’ Macron meets Putin to salvage Iran deal after US quits pact
Morgan Freeman accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior
Boris Johnson gets pranked by Russian callers pretending to be Armenian prime minister
Elon Musk Is No Donald Trump
Ivanka Trump serves up support for Serena Williams
Russia rejects claim its missile downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17
This NASA Camera Melted During a SpaceX Rocket Launch, But the Photos Survived!
North Korea blows up nuclear site tunnels
Trump cancels summit in letter to Kim Jong Un
Missile which downed MH17 'owned by Russian brigade'
Trump to be interviewed on 'Fox and Friends' Thursday morning
Close