Kim Jong Un named top military official | News | DW | 18.07.2012
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Kim Jong Un named top military official

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been promoted to marshal, making him the highest ranked official in the military. The move completes his control over the country's state and military.

Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea, has been appointed by his top government officials to marshal, the country's highest military rank, state media reported on Wednesday.

"This is the only title left for Jong Un to decorate himself with after he assumed almost all party and army positions," Cheong Seong Chang from the South Korean think tank the Sejong Institute told AFP.

Wednesday's announcement came after Kim dismissed his military chief, Ri Yong Ho, over the weekend and promoted a little known general, Hyon Yong Chol, to vice marshal at the beginning of the week.

Analysts see the decision as the final step needed for Kim to seal his power.

"With Hyon awarded the title of a vice marshal, Jong-Un apparently needed a new, higher military rank as the supreme commander of the military," said Cheong.

The communist leader's other official titles make him the highest living representative of the Korean People's Army, the Workers' Party of Korea and the National Defense Commission.

Kim Jong Un rose to power in December 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il. Officials gave Kim Jong Il the title of grand marshal posthumously in February on what would have been his 70th birthday.

kms/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters)