‘Executed’ North Korean general named to senior party posts
Intelligence reports in South Korea had suggested Ri Yong-Gil, former chief of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) General Staff, was executed in February on accusations of corruption and forming a political faction. Although the reports were never confirmed by Pyongyang, North Korea named a new chief of staff, Ri Myong-Su, in the same month.
The change came at a time of highly elevated tensions on the divided Korean peninsula following the North’s nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch.
But on Tuesday, Ri Yong-Gil’s name appeared on a list of the newly-elected members of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) Central Committee, as an alternate member of the politburo and a member of the party’s central military commission. Reports — some confirmed, some not — of purges, executions and disappearances have been common since Kim Jong-Un took power following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in December 2011.