N.Korea Releases Photos of Military High Command

Official North Korean newspapers released photos of all 12 members of North Korea's top organ of power, the Defense Commission, which is chaired by Kim Jong-il. The Rodong Sinmun and Minju Chosun released the photos after the new commission was confirmed by the recently elected rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly. In the past, North Korea released only the photos of the chairman and vice chairmen.

The newspapers carried the photos on April 10, the day after the first full session of the new parliament. Kim was pictured on the front page.

A South Korean government official said the publication of photos of the entire commission shows that the third-term Kim Jong-il regime "has strengthened the role and status of the Defense Commission." It seems that Kim, who is in frail health, is to rule the North within this collective system.

From left, Jo Myong-rok, Director of the Peoples Army General Political Bureau; Kim Yong-chun, Minister of Peoples Armed Forces; Ri Yong-mu, Vice Marshal of the Korean Peoples Army; O Kuk-ryol, Chief of the Operational Department of the Workers Party From left, Jo Myong-rok, Director of the People's Army General Political Bureau; Kim Yong-chun, Minister of People's Armed Forces; Ri Yong-mu, Vice Marshal of the Korean People's Army; O Kuk-ryol, Chief of the Operational Department of the Workers' Party
From left, Jon Byong-ho, Secretary of Military Industry; Kim Il-chol, First Vice-Director of the Ministry of Peoples Armed Forces; Paek Se-bong, Chairman of the Second Economic Committee; Jang Song-taek, Director of the Administrative Department of the Workers Party From left, Jon Byong-ho, Secretary of Military Industry; Kim Il-chol, First Vice-Director of the Ministry of People's Armed Forces; Paek Se-bong, Chairman of the Second Economic Committee; Jang Song-taek, Director of the Administrative Department of the Workers' Party
From left, Ju Sang-song, Minister of Public Security; U Dong-chuk, Deputy Chief of the Secret Police; Ju Kyu-chang, First Vice-Director of the Ministry of Defense Industry; Kim Jong-gak, First Vice-Director of the General Political Department of the Peoples Army From left, Ju Sang-song, Minister of Public Security; U Dong-chuk, Deputy Chief of the Secret Police; Ju Kyu-chang, First Vice-Director of the Ministry of Defense Industry; Kim Jong-gak, First Vice-Director of the General Political Department of the People's Army
englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 17, 2009 15:25 KST