(SEOUL, South Korea) — North Korean state media has confirmed that the nation’s hard-line military chief was replaced only a few months after his appointment.
The personnel change was believed to have been made in August and came as North Korea was pushing to ease animosity and resume lucrative cooperation projects with South Korea after threatening nuclear war this past spring.
The name of new military chief, Ri Yong Gil, came in a Korean Central News Agency dispatch listing top officials who accompanied leader Kim Jong Un to a Pyongyang mausoleum on Thursday. Little is known about Ri.
Ri’s predecessor, Kim Kyok Sik, is the former commander of battalions believed responsible for attacks on South Korea in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans. State media dispatches first identified Kim as military chief in May.