Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Implication of Ri Yong Ho's removal

Recently North Korean state media reported Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho relieved of all his Party duties, namely his Politburo Standing Committee membership, Politburo membership, and Party Central Military Commission vice-chairmanship, stating this move was due to unspecified illness. This move was very unusual as the meeting at which his removal was announced was attended by the entire Politburo standing committee, Politburo members and candidate members, making ill health seem implausibly minor. Ri was replaced by Hyon Yong-chol in the role of the Chief of the General Staff.
There has been many theories for the removal of Ri, including the theory that Ri had lost the fight to secure the slush governing fund, or opposed Kim Jong-Un's policy. or that he was merely at the wrong place at the wrong time and became a sacrifice of power struggles.
Recently, there were rumors that Ri criticized Kim Jong-Un's open-door policy, while being wiretapped, and was purged as a result.
What ever the reason may be, this marks a shift in power between the political leadership and the armed froces with the political leadership in the ascendant.
And this even makes it even more difficult to predict and analyze the future of North Korea's leadership. We have to keep a close look at North Korea from now on for any contingencies.

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