Kim Jong-un Promotes Missile Officials to Top Military Ranks

      March 20, 2012 14:09

      North Korean leader Kim Jong-un carried out his first high-level military reshuffle on Feb. 15, and appointed three civilians to the rank of general, a South Korean government source said Monday.

      Pak To-chun, Workers Party secretary for munitions, was made a four-star general, and Ju Kyu-chang, director of the party's Machine-Building Industry Department, and Paek Se-bong, a member of the party's Central Military Commission, were made three-star generals.

      The source said that they are key figures in the planned rocket launch in April, which is believed to be cover-up for a long-range ballistic missile test, and that their promotion aimed to boost efforts for the test.

      Pak suceeds Jon Pyong-ho, who retired in 2010 and was North Korea's "missile man." Ju, a graduate of Kim Chaek University of Technology and a munitions specialist, leads a missile research and development centre. Paek is in charge of making long-range missiles. 

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