[Breaking News] Kim Jong-un awarded Marshal title

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[Breaking News] Kim Jong-un awarded Marshal title

Pyongyang awarded its highest military title, Marshal, to new leader Kim Jong-un, accelerating the process of consolidate the young leader’s power.

The North’s official state media -- the Korean Central Television, the Korean Central News Agency and the Pyongyang Broadcasting Station -- yesterday issued an “important announcement.”  “A decision was made to award the title of Marshal to Kim Jong-un, supreme commander of the Korean People's Army," the Korean Central News Agency said in a report.

His promotion came in the middle of surprise military reshuffle reportedly led by the ruling Workers’ Party and Kim. Ri Yong-ho, the high-profile chief of the general staff of the North Korean army, suddenly lost all his posts on Sunday.

Two days later, a little-known four-star-general, Hyon Yong-chol, was promoted to vice marshal, raising speculation that he might replace Ri.

There have been only two people awarded the second-highest title, Marshal: former leader Kim Jong-il and Ri Eul-sol, a 91-year-old former communist guerilla and a confidant of Kim Il Sung. Ri is still alive.

By Kim Hee-jin [heejin@joongang.co.kr]

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