Developing

N Korea's Kim Promotes Himself To Army Chief

North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un has promoted himself to marshall of the army, the military’s highest rank.

The news came in a special bulletin from North Korean state media in the capital Pyongyang.

There had been a warning less than an hour earlier of a significant announcement.

That prompted analysts around the world to speculate whether North Korea was planning to reveal it had carried out a nuclear test.

Shortly afterwards the Korean Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources said it had detected no signs of seismic activity in the north which could indicate a nuclear test, allaying world fears.

It’s the first time since the death of the Supreme Leader Kim Jong-iI that there has been an official notification of a significant announcement.

In the event the bulletin confirmed that Kim Jong-un had given himself the same title that his father Kim Jong-iI carried before his death in December last year.

The move follows several days of reshuffling at the highest levels of North Korea’s most power institution – its million-man military.

The changes are widely seen by outside observers as an attempt by the new leader to put his stamp on the government he inherited from his father seven months ago.

North Korean state media announced a few days ago that the head of the military Ri Yong-ho was stepping down from his position through "illness".

But there was widespread speculation Mr Ri had been removed by Kim Jong-un to be replaced by the young leader’s "own person".

A subsequent announcement a day later confirmed Hyon Yong-chol, a little known army general, had been promoted to Vice Marshall.

Kim Jong-un had been considered a young and inexperienced figure to run North Korea. Little is known about him – not even his exact age.

But there are clear signs emerging that he wants to send a message to the world that he does not intend to be a puppet leader, with the military in control of the country.

Kim Jong-un - or Kim Jong-un and his inner circle - are calling the shots.

People are watching for signs as to his intentions over North Korea’s nuclear programme.

In April he promised to suspend long range missile tests in return for food aid from the United States.

He then went ahead with a test which North Korea said was a failed satellite test.

The international community said it was an attempt at a long-range missile test.