The Chief of the General Staff in North Korea, Pak Su Il, was dismissed and replaced by General Ri Yong Gil, a former defence minister.
According to North Korea’s state media, Kim Jong Un has taken over as the top general of his military and urged for more weapons production, military exercises, and preparations for potential war.
KCNA reported on Thursday that Kim spoke at a gathering of the Central Military Commission, which was discussing countermeasures to deter North Korea’s enemies, without specifying who those weapons would be.
Yonhap News Agency in South Korea reported on Thursday that North Korea is apparently focused on demonstrating its military capabilities.
KCNA reported that Pak Su Il, the Chief of the General Staff in North Korea, was dismissed without providing any additional information. He had been in his post for approximately seven months.
General Ri Yong Gil, who had previously served as the country’s defence minister and top commander of conventional troops, was chosen to replace Pak.
Ri’s sacking and non-attendance at official events in North Korea after his replacement in 2016 led to speculation in South Korea that he had been executed. However, a few months later, the actor was appointed to another senior position.
KCNA reported that the Wednesday meeting between Kim and the Central Military Commission would address the issue of fully preparing for war, which included acquiring more powerful strike weapons to ensure military readiness for a war.
According to the report, Kim urged all munitions industrial groups to continue mass-producing weapons and equipment.
The statement stated that he believed in conducting genuine war drills to ensure the efficient use of newly deployed weapons and equipment.
KCNA reported that Kim set a goal for the country’s weapons production capacity to be expanded, but did not provide any specifics.
The United States believes that North Korea is responsible for the supply of artillery, rockets, and missiles to Russia in its war in Ukraine, leading to a demand for increased arms production.
Russia and North Korea have refuted those accusations.
Kim visited weapons factories last week and demanded the production of more missile engines, artillery, and other weapons.
A large defence expo was held by North Korea to coincide with a large military parade last month, during which Kim showed Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu about the country’s latest and most advanced weaponry, including ballistic missiles and spy drones.
A militia parade will be held on September 9 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Day and foundation of a republic in North Korea.
The United States and South Korea are scheduled to conduct military exercises between August 21 and 24, as the country fears a potential invasion of North Korea.