Kurdish politician Fouad Massoum named president of Iraq

N. Korea ousts commerce minister

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Published : 2014-04-05 15:11
Updated : 2014-04-05 15:11



North Korea has replaced its commerce minister last month, according to state-run media report Saturday, amid efforts to phase out supporters of Jang Song-thaek, the executed uncle of the current leader.

North Korea's radio broadcaster Pyongyang Broadcasting Station reported that new Commerce Minister Kim Kyong-nam was in attendance at a food festival marking the birth anniversary of the country's founder.

It was the first time that Kim Kyong-nam was introduced as commerce minister by North Korean media, but it appears likely the replacement took last month during the nationwide election.

Kim's predecessor Ri Song-ho, who took office in 2012, failed to be re-elected to the Supreme People's Assembly in the parliamentary election on March 9.

The food event was held from Wednesday through Friday in commemoration of the April 15 birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, the current leader's grandfather.

Experts say the replacement of the minister post is likely a follow-up measure to last December's execution of Jang, the once powerful uncle of Kim Jong-un.

The March election was seen by some as a way for young leader Kim Jong-un to fill up the Assembly with people close to him and consolidate his power in the reclusive country. (Yonhap)

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