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North Korea confirms new coal minister following purge of Kim's uncle

Published on Jan 6, 2014 10:44 AM
 
North Koreans celebrate the New Year by visiting statues of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung and former leader Kim Jong Il at Mansudae hill in Pyongyang, Jan 1 2014. North Korea has replaced its coal minister, apparently after the shock execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle, who had been accused of attempting to take control of the country's lucrative coal export business. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea has replaced its coal minister, apparently after the shock execution of leader Kim Jong Un's uncle, who had been accused of attempting to take control of the country's lucrative coal export business.

Pyongyang's state-run Korean Central News Agency introduced Mun Myong Hak as "Minister of Coal Industry" as it was reporting on the 30th anniversary of the Pukchang Area Coal-Mining Complex in the western province of South Phyongan on Monday.

The last time the North's coal minister was mentioned in the country's state media was a year ago, when Mr Rim Nam Su was in office.

The shock purge and execution of Mr Jang Song Thaek, the once-powerful uncle and political regent to young leader Kim Jong Un, was sparked by his attempts to take over the North's coal export industry, South Korea's spy chief Nam Jae Joon said last month.

 
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