North Korea confirms army chief replaced in reshuffle
SEOUL (AFP) - North Korean state media confirmed on Thursday that the nation's hawkish, ageing army chief has been replaced in a reshuffle that observers say sought to tighten leader Kim Jong-Un's grip over the military.
Rumours had circulated in August that Kim Kyok-Sik, 75, had been replaced as chief of the army's general staff by Ri Yong-Gil.
Ri, believed to be in his 60s, had been previously mentioned as a three-star general and head of the army's general staff operations department but made public appearances in late August with the insignia of a four-star general.
A state media report identified Ri as chief of the general staff of the Korean People's Army, while listing top army officers who accompanied Kim Jong-Un on a visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun at midnight on Wednesday.