The Straits Times
Published on Nov 29, 2012

North Korea replaces defence minister with hardline military commander


SEOUL (AP) - North Korea has replaced its defence minister with a hardline military commander believed to be responsible for deadly attacks on South Korea in 2010, diplomats in Pyongyang said on Thursday.

It is the latest in a series of high-profile appointments leader Kim Jong Un has made since he took power nearly a year ago.

Diplomats in Pyongyang said they were informed that Mr Kim Jong Gak had been replaced as armed forces minister by Kim Kyok Sik, commander of the battalions linked to two deadly attacks in 2010 blamed on North Korea.

The diplomats declined to be named, saying they had not been cleared to discuss the matter with the media.