North Korea's Supreme Leader Just Got A Promotion

kim jong un

Photo: (AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been awarded the title of marshal, the top commander of the North’s 1.2-million-strong army, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.The news comes just days after Kim reportedly fired the former army chief, Ri Yong-ho, in what many saw as the first purge of Kim’s time as Supreme Leader. A relatively unknown general, Hyun Yong-chol, was promoted in his place.

The move is somewhat unusual — his grandfather received the title two years before his death after many years of rule, and his father only received it posthumously. It is believed that the title was awarded to further strengthen Kim’s hold over the army, perhaps for fear of a power struggle.

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