|▲ Hundreds of KPA officers gather in the April 25th Palace of Culture (© Yonhap)|
North Korea commemorated the elevation of Kim Jong Eun to the rank of ‘marshal of the Chosun People’s Army’ yesterday with a convention of officers and men at the April 25th Palace of Culture in central Pyongyang.
The meeting was attended by all the top military brass, including V. Mar Choi Ryong Hae, the director of the General Political Bureau of the Chosun People’s Army (KPA), V. Mar Kim Jeong Gak, minister of the People's Armed Forces, and V. Mar Hyon Chol Hae, first vice-minister of the People's Armed Forces.
Also in attendance was V. Mar Hyon Yong Chol., who was introduced as the new Chief of Staff of the Chosun People’s Army, confirming him as the direct replacement for Lee Young Ho, who was relieved of all his Party duties at a full Politburo meeting last Sunday.
Hyon told the hundreds of assembled military officers, “The conferring of the ‘marshal of the DPRK’ rank on the respected comrade Supreme Commander is an event which displays our army and people’s iron will and determination to firmly believe in our comrade Supreme Commander alone both at home and abroad.”
Groups of male and female soldiers also gathered and danced in the broad plaza outside the meeting hall.
|▲ Soldiers cheer and dance outside the April 25th House of Culture yesterday (© Yonhap)|
Meanwhile, there is interest in the fact that, unless or until one of the vice-marshals is inducted into it, the standing committee of the Politburo no longer contains any genuine military men.
Besides Kim Jong Eun, whose Party post supersedes his military positions, Kim Young Nam and Choi Yong Rim are from the Party and state administration respectively, while Choi Ryong Hae is a civilian in military uniform.