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North Korea's No. 2 replaced as army's political chief

Published on May 2, 2014 8:37 AM
 
A photo taken on April 15, 2013 shows a man believed to be Choe Ryong-Hae talking with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attending a military parade in Pyongyang. North Korea signalled a key leadership change with the announcement May 2, 2014 that the man seen as supreme leader Kim Jong Un's number two had been replaced as political chief of the military. In a report on May Day celebrations in Pyongyang, the North's official KCNA news agency named Mr Hwang Pyong So as the director of the Korean People's Army (KPA) General Political Bureau, not Mr Choe Ryong Hae, who previously held the position. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP 

SEOUL (AFP) - The de-facto number two in the North Korean hierarchy after Kim Jong Un has been replaced as head of the army's political department, the official KCNA news agency said on Friday, signalling a major leadership change.

In a report on May Day celebrations in Pyongyang, KCNA named Mr Hwang Pyong So as the director of the Korean People's Army (KPA) General Political Bureau, not Mr Choe Ryong Hae, who previously held the position.

Mr Hwang's appointment comes just days after KCNA reported his promotion to the rank of vice-marshall on April 28 - a rank shared with Mr Choe and four others.

Mr Choe was widely believed to have moved into the role of North Korea's unofficial No. 2 following the execution in December of Mr Kim's uncle and political mentor Jang Song Thaek.

 
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