» 07/17/2012 NORTH KOREA Obscure general becomes North Korea's new chief of general staff Kim Jong-un replaces Ri Yong-ho with Hyon Yong-chol. Unknown to most, the new chief is promoted to the rank of vice marshal even though he became a general only in September 2010 along with North Korea's current dictator who continues to consolidate his power.
(AsiaNews/Agencies) - One day after Ri Yong-ho was removed as chief of general
staff "due to illness," Kim Jong-un's regime has already found a
replacement, General Hyon Yong-chol, who was named vice marshal. The son of the
late 'dear leader' Kim Jong-il is the only marshal.
decision was taken by the National Defence Commission, North Korea's official
news agency KCNA reported. The move
has surprised many observers since Hyon became a general only in September 2010
and is not from the leadership's inner circle.
the choice does reflect Kim Jong-un's strong desire to take full control of the
military's huge power.
Hyon was promoted to the rank of general, so were Kim Jong-un and his aunt Kim Kyong-Hui, who is grooming the new dictator.
This might explain why the new chief of general staff was picked.
According to Juche, North Korea's ideology of
self-reliance and militarism developed by the father of the nation Kim Il-sung,
soldiers and peasants are the backbone of the country.
In 2000, Kim Il-sung's son Kim Jong-il launched his military-first
policy, making the military a priority in resource allocation. The latter also
urged his son to follow his path of relying on the military to hold onto power.
Despite being always on the edge of economic disaster,
North Korea maintains one of the largest permanent militaries in the world in
relation to the population.