Pyongyang: North Korea's top military commander Ri Yong-ho, who was abruptly removed from all of his posts, may have been ousted for defying orders and moving troops near Pyongyang during a military exercise, according to a report.
A report by South Korea’s Chosun.com said that the troop move drew the ire of Ri's main rivals Jang Song-taek, the guardian of leader Kim Jong-un, and Vice Marshal Choe Ryong-hae.
“Analysis of intelligence shows Ri Yong-ho's ouster was a punitive measure taken due to his uncooperative attitude as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un sought to tighten his grip on the military,” a lawmaker quoted the National Intelligence Service as telling the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee (NIS).
According to The Telegraph, the website also reports that hundreds of thousands of US dollars were also discovered during a raid on Ri’s home, which also provided valuable evidence for Choe to accuse him of corruption.
The NIS said that Ri's uncooperative attitude included unilaterally repositioning the troops and expressing dissatisfaction over the transfer of control to the party of the North's businesses that generate foreign currency.
Ri, the former Army chief, was removed from all official posts few weeks ago, ‘because of illness’.
He was also the vice-chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission and held top posts in the ruling Workers Party.
First Published: Friday, July 27, 2012, 18:33