Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership
A military promotions list was issued on April 14 (Fridayday), ahead of Sun’s Day[April 15] (Kim Il Sung’s birth anniversary). In his capacity as Korean People’s Army [KPA] Supreme Commander, Kim Jong Un (Kim Cho’ng-u’n) promoted 18 general-grade officers. Among those on the promotions list were KPA General Staff Operations Bureau Director and 1st Vice Chief of the KPA General Staff Ri Yong Gil (Ri Yo’ng-kil) and 1st Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces So Hong Chan (So Hong-ch’an) who were promoted to four-star general (taejang). In the case of General Ri, his fourth star has been restored as had originally been promoted in August 2013.
Other promoted officials included IV Army Corps Commander Ri Song Guk (Ri So’ng-kuk), KPA Large Combined Unit (taeyonhap pudae) #630 Commander Kim Yong Bok (Kim Yo’ng-pok) and KPA Organization Department head and KPA General Political Department Deputy Director Jo Nam Jin (Cho Nam-chin) who were promoted to Colonel-General (sangjang) along with KPA General Staff Light Infantry Training Guidance head Rim Kwang Il (Rim Kwang-il) and State Affairs Commission [SAC] Design Department Director Ma Won Chun (Ma Wo’n-ch’un) and Workers’ Party of Korea [WPK] Munitions Industry Department Deputy Director and ballistic missile expert Kim Jong Sik (Kim Cho’ng-sik) who were elevated to Lieutenant-General (chungjang).
According to DPRK state media, Jong Un expressed “belief that KPA commanding officers would as ever get more firmly united under the banner of the Party Central Committee as befitting descendants of President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-so’ng) and soldiers and disciples of leader Kim Jong Il (Kim Cho’ng-il), and thus fulfill the mission and duty they assumed before the times and the revolution.”
Promoted to General were: Ri Yong Gil and So Hong Chang.
Promoted to Colonel-General were: Wi Song Il, Pang Tu Sop, Ri Song Guk, Yang Tong Hun, Kim Yong Bok, Kim Myong Nam, Jo Nam Jin, Jang Kil Song, Song Jun Sol and Kim Chol Gyu.
Promoted to Lieutenant-General were: Rim Kwang Il, Kim Jong Sik, Ri Yong Chol, Kim Kwang Hyok and Ma Won Chun.
Promoted to Major General was: Kang Su.