PYONGYANG: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un elevated the ranks of dozens of military officers in the latest display of his grip on power amid a stalemate in nuclear talks with the United States.
Kim ordered three people to be promoted to full general and 33 others to major-general yesterday to mark the upcoming birthday of his grandfather and North Korea founder Kim Il-sung, the official Korean Central News Agency said.
The promotions come shortly after Kim reaffirmed his faith in top aides involved in nuclear talks with the United States.
In a Supreme People’s Assembly meeting earlier this month, North Korea reappointed Kim Yong-chol as a member of the State Affairs Commission led by Jong-un himself. The country has also promoted Choe Son-hui to first vice-foreign minister.
Yong-chol travelled to the White House earlier this year to visit President Donald Trump, while Choe played a visible role in preparing talks with the United States in Vietnam.
Trump walked out of the second summit in Hanoi in February after the two sides failed to reach a deal on how to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear programme.
In remarks carried by official media, Jong-un said he was willing to hold a third summit with Trump, giving the United States until the end of the year to strike a nuke deal.
Trump said on Twitter that a third summit “would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand”. — Bloomberg