North Korea may have selected a new defense minister following the presumed execution of former office holder Hyon Yong Chol, according to a new report Friday.
A new video broadcast by North Korea’s government-run media shows Gen. Pak Yong-Sik saluting Kim during a visit, a sign that he may have been promoted to the position. Hyon, the former minister, has been removed from all state videos in the month since his death.
If Pak has been promoted, his path to the minister position bears a resemblance to Hyon’s, who took on the role of minister in June after a promotion to four-star general, similar to Pak. He was the fourth person to take on the roll in two-and-a-half years.
Media reports vary on when Hyon was executed. The Guardian and the Wall Street Journal both reported that Hyon was killed in October 2014, while the BBC, CNN and the Korea Herald reported it occurred in April of this year.
In the three years since Kim Jong Un became the leader of the country, there have been many changes in government staff. Dozens of officials have reportedly been executed under Kim, including an uncle who, like Hyon, was executed for treason.
[International Business Times]