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 US.
Kim ordered three people to be promoted to full general and 33 others to major general on Sunday to mark the upcoming birthday of his grandfather and North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the official Korean Central News Agency said. A major general in North Korea is equivalent to a brigadier general in the US or South Korea.
The promotions come shortly after Kim reaffirmed his faith in top aides involved in nuclear talks with the US. 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 Kim Jong-un himself. The country has also promoted Choe Son Hui to first vice foreign minister.
Kim 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 US in Vietnam.
Trump walked out of the second summit in Hanoi after the two sides failed to reach a deal on how to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear programme.