Kim Jong Un named marshal of North Korean army
July 18, 2012 -- Updated 0724 GMT (1524 HKT)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has received an additional title as marshal of the Korean People's Army.
- NEW: The move appears intended to emphasize Kim's position of power, analyst says
- He is already known as the supreme commander of the army
- The regime has recently announced a number of changes to the military's top ranks
- It has removed the former army chief from all his posts citing "illness"
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- North Korea said Wednesday that it had given the title of marshal of the army to its young leader, Kim Jong Un, the latest in a string of moves to reconfigure the top ranks of the military.
Kim, who is already referred to as "supreme commander" of the Korean People's Army, has been awarded the title of marshal by the reclusive regime's most powerful political and military bodies, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The announcement follows the removal of the army chief, Ri Yong Ho, from all his government posts on Sunday, a decision KCNA said was motivated by an unspecified illness. Ri was considered one of Kim's closest aides.
A day later, North Korea promoted a little known general, Hyon Yong Chol, to the rank of vice marshal.
N. Korean chief out amid power struggle?
Shifts inside North Korea
Suddenly out in North Korea
Analysts have speculated that the moves may show signs of a struggle within the regime between the military and civilian elites as Kim seeks to consolidate power after succeeding his father, Kim Jong Il, who died in December.
The young leader's new title is probably partially related to the recent military reshuffle and appears intended "to emphasize he's in a position of power," said Andrei Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in South Korea.
Kim Jong Il held the title of marshal when he ruled North Korea. In February, he was posthumously named "generalissimo" or grand marshal. As a result, Kim Jong Un had been widely expected to take the title of marshal.
"I recently spoke to a group of North Korean specialists and everyone was surprised the promotion had not happened yet," Lankov said.
CNN's Paula Hancocks reported from Seoul; Jethro Mullen reported from Hong Kong. CNN's Tim Schwarz contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
Today's five most popular stories