Rome

North Korea's Kim Jong-un takes over as army marshal

Young leader consolidating power

North Korea's Kim Jong-un takes over as army marshal

(ANSA) - Rome, July 18 - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has taken over as "marshal" of the country's military, according to the official news agency in Pyongyang on Wednesday. The announcement gives Kim the top military rank in the powerful North Korean army, and consolidates his grip on power. Two days ago, Kim - who is thought to be 28 - surprised many when he dismissed the chief of North Korea's military because of "sickness." Vice-Marshal Ri Yong-ho's departure was especially surprising because he was a supporter of the young leader during his transition to power after the death of his father Kim Jong-il last December. The title of "marshal" had also been held by the elder Kim before his death.

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