North Korea’s Kim Replaces Head of Armed Forces for Third Time

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has replaced his chief of general staff for the third time since he took over the country less than two years ago, a report from the official state news agency indicated.

The Korean Central News Agency referred to Ri Yong Gil today as Chief of General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, indicating Kim Kyok Sik no longer holds the post.

KCNA didn’t say when the reshuffle took place or what happened to Kim. Ri becomes the fourth chief of general staff to serve Kim Jong Un since he took over the North’s 1.2 million-strong army in December 2011 when his father Kim Jong Il died of a heart attack.

KCNA referred to Ri holding the post in a report on Kim marking the 68th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea by visiting the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the two previous rulers of North Korea, his father and grandfather, Kim Il Sung, are interred.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sam Kim in Seoul at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at

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