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North Korea sacks commerce minister to consolidate power

Published on Apr 5, 2014 6:33 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea has sacked its commerce minister, according to state-run media on Saturday, as its young leader Kim Jong Un apparently seeks to sideline supporters of his once-powerful uncle who was executed last year.

North Korea's radio broadcaster Pyongyang Broadcasting Station said that new Commerce Minister Kim Kyong Nam took part in a food festival marking the birth anniversary of the country's founder Kim Il Sung.

It was the first time that North Korean media introduced him as commerce minister, but it was likely that his predecessor Ri Song Ho was replaced last month in a pre-determined election for the rubber-stamp parliament, Yonhap news agency said.

Kim Kyong Nam was one of the 687 approved candidates elected unopposed in an exercise held every five years that provides a rare glimpse into power shifts within the secretive regime.

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