North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, has removed his senior general as part of a reorganization of the nation’s military leadership. State media announced on Thursday that Kim Jong Un intends for his armed forces to prepare for a potential conflict.
General Pak Su Il has been relieved of his duties as the head of the General Staff, and Vice Marshal Ri Yong Gil has been designated as his successor, as stated by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), which is controlled by the state…..CONTINUE READING
The KCNA reported that various “high-ranking commanding officers” were either discharged, reassigned, or newly-appointed during a gathering of the Central Military Commission on Wednesday, although specific details were not provided.
North Korea frequently undergoes changes in its military leadership, with some officials resurfacing in new roles and others vanishing from public observation.
The trajectory of the newly appointed senior general, Ri, exemplifies this pattern. Just last December 31, Ri ascended to the second-highest position within North Korea’s military structure, highlighting this dynamic, reported CNN.
Kim Jong-un preparing for war?
The reorganization of the military leadership was addressed towards the latter part of the KCNA report, which primarily centered on the emphasis of preparing the army more comprehensively for a potential conflict due to the serious political and military circumstances prevailing in the Korean Peninsula.
Though not explicitly named in the report, South Korea and its primary ally, the United States, seemed to be indirectly alluded to, reported CNN. The report suggested this by mentioning that the gathering “analyzed the military moves of the chief culprits of the deteriorated situation” on the peninsula.
The foremost topic on the meeting’s agenda was stated as “full war preparations,” as indicated by the KCNA report.
‘The present situation, in which the hostile forces are getting ever more undisguised in their reckless military confrontation with the DPRK, [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] requires the latter’s army to have more positive, proactive and overwhelming will and thoroughgoing and perfect military readiness for a war,’ it said.
North Korea ramps up military expenditure
During this summer, North Korea has intensified its military rhetoric, issuing threats to down US reconnaissance planes and respond to the port visit of a US nuclear-capable ballistic missile submarine to South Korea, marking the first such occurrence in forty years.
Additionally, Pyongyang has put on display its advancements in ballistic missile technology. Last month, it conducted a test of what it claimed to be a Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), showcasing its potential to reach the US mainland based on its flight duration.
This weapon was just one among many exhibited during North Korea’s “Victory Day” parade the previous month, which commemorated the 70th anniversary of the armistice that halted the Korean War. Despite the passage of time, the two Koreas technically remain in a state of war, as an official peace treaty was never ratified.
Recent reports reveal that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his delegation on July 26, 2023. During the gathering in Pyongyang, Kim authorised war drills involving the country’s latest weaponry.
Notably, in the preceding week, Kim conducted inspections of arms and munitions factories, imparting “crucial instructions” concerning the development of production capabilities for new ordnance, according to a KCNA report.
Against the backdrop of escalating tensions on the peninsula, South Korea declared its intention to conduct a nationwide civil defense exercise on August 23. With a majority of the nation’s 51 million inhabitants expected to participate, the drill will simulate evacuations to shelters or subterranean safe zones. Seoul cited “provocations” from Pyongyang as the motivation behind this 20-minute exercise…..CONTINUE READING