Kim Replaces Military Chief

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un waves after watching a military parade in honour of the 100th birthday of the late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2012.  North North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un delivered his first ever public speech at a major military parade in Pyongyang to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung.     AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)

    Ed Jones, AFP / Getty Images

    Just two days after Ri Yong Ho, North Korea’s general military chief and vice marshal to the North Korean People’s Army, was ousted, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has assumed his role. By putting himself in control of the 1.2 million-person military, the late dictator Kim Jong Il’s son has further consolidated his control over North Korea. Kim does have the opportunity now, however, to use military resources to help the boost economy of his isolated and impoverished country. “Kim could have created a lot of instability and opposition by suddenly firing Ri Yong Ho, one of the most influential figures in the military,” said a senior research fellow at Seoul’s Sejong Institute. “By raising Kim’s authority over the army, the regime is able to wield more control over the military leadership.” Though North Korea’s neighbor to the South has no say in the matter, a senior regional economist at Barclays Capital in Singapore said the move is actually good for Seoul. “The transition has been smoother and faster than expected and I think this points us to more stability in North Korea and capital markets.”

    Read it at Bloomberg Business Week