North Korean military reshuffle ahead of Trump-Kim summit

The South Korean news agency reported Monday that three of the North’s top military brass have been replaced ahead of Kim Jong-un’s high-stakes summit with US President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12. Kim Su-gil had reportedly been appointed director of the military’s powerful General Political Bureau (GPB), replacing Kim Jong-gak; the chief of the general staff Ri Myong-su has been replaced by his deputy, Ri Yong-gil; and defense minister Pak Yong-sik has been succeeded by No Kwang-chol, previously first vice-minister.

This wholesale shake-up is widely interpreted as designed to remove possible opponents to changes in Pyongyang’s nuclear policy following the summit, as well as giving Kim and his ruling party tighter control over the military (Korean People’s Army)

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