» 07/20/2012 NORTH KOREA Purges, killings and new economy: Kim Jong-un's grab for real power by Joseph Yun Li-sun After taking over in December, the young dictator has had to put up with the generals. Now, with the sacking of the chief of General Staff, which led to a gun fight that might have killed and wounded 40 people, and the creation of a political bureau to run the economy, changes are coming to the top. A "final struggle" for power is underway, source tells AsiaNews.
(AsiaNews) - A gun battle broke out when the North Korean regime removed army
chief Ri Yong-ho from office last Monday. Some 20 to 30 soldiers died in the
incident, this according to South Korea's main daily, Chosun Ilbo, which cited South Korean intelligence sources.
sacking and replacement with General Hyon Yong-chol (a loyalist of the new
dictator, Kim Jong-un) surprised many analysts. Sources told AsiaNews that a final struggle is
underway in Pyongyang for real power.
he took over from his father Kim Jong-il, who died in December, Kim Jong-un now
appears to be "taking power away from the generals."
gun battle apparently broke out when General Choe Ryong-hae (another Kim
Jong-un loyalist) tried to arrest Ri, triggering the reaction of his body
cannot rule out the possibility that Ri was injured or even killed in the fire fight,"
said one source.
days after Ri's removal, Kim Jong-un proclaimed himself marshal and decided to
take over North Korea's dying economy, one of the poorest in the world.
young dictator set up a 'political bureau' to manage economic affairs, which
until recently had been a prerogative of the military.
the past, the government had no say in the economy. The military controlled everything.
Now things will change," a source told AsiaNews.