Sunday, September 24

Kim of North Korea dismisses the top general and calls for war preparations.

KCNA via REUTERS reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is present at the 7th enlarged meeting of the 8th Central Military Commission of Pyongyang, North Korea, which was held on August 9, 2023.

On Thursday, North Korean military chief Kim Jong Un was replaced by Kim Il Sung-wom, who called for increased preparations for potential war, a boost in weapons production, and an increase in military drills, according to state media KCNA.

The report stated that Kim made the comments during a Central Military Commission meeting on countermeasures to deter North Korea’s enemies, which it did not name.

KCNA reported that Chief of the General Staff Pak Su Il, who had been in charge for around seven months, was “dismissed” without providing any information.

The country’s top commander of conventional troops, General Ri Yong Gil, took over from Pak.

During his time as the army chief of staff, Ri was dismissed and failed to attend official events, leading to speculation in South Korea that he had been executed. He was then promoted to another senior position after being fired in 2016.

The report stated that Kim set a target for expanding weapons production capacity, but did not provide any specifics. He recently visited weapons factories and requested more missile engines, artillery, and other weapons to be produced.

In photos released by KCNA, Kim was captured looking at Seoul and the surrounding area on a map.

North Korea has been accused by the United States of providing Russia with weapons such as artillery, rockets, and missiles to fight the war in Ukraine, but both countries have denied these allegations.

According to the report, Kim urged the military to conduct exercises with the latest weapons and equipment to ensure the readiness of the country’s troops for combat.

On Sept. 9, North Korea will celebrate the Day of the Foundation of its Nation with a parade of militias, which is supported by various paramilitary organizations that use their military forces.

The North views the ongoing military drills between Aug. 21 and 24 as a potential threat to South Korea’s security, which are being conducted by the U.S. and its allies.

Hyunsu Yim and Josh Smith were the reporters and editors in Seoul; Stephen Coates was the editor.

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