Adam Taylor| Business Insider.Nov. 20, 2012,
Kim Jong-un, the young leader of North Korea, is still having trouble reining in the powerful North Korean military according to reports in Chosun Ilbo.
(AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
The South Korean newspaper has spoken to sources in the intelligence community who say that Kim has been attempting to reign in the power of the military, who had taken over key economic roles during the reign of his father, Kim Jong-il.
Military units are being made to sign a loyalty oath and pledge not to confiscate food from local farms. Kim has also told troops that anyone who is not loyal to the leader is “unnecessary”, even if they are a good soldier.
Rumors about discontent within the North Korean military have been flying around since July, when military chief Ri Yong-ho was suddenly removed “because of an illness”. Later leaks suggested that Ri may have been marching troops on Pyongyang, and may have been injured in a gun battle with troops loyal to Kim.
According to the Chosun Ilbo, Ri is currently being held under house arrest “near a hot spring in North Hamgyong Province”. Due to the large amount respect Ri commands, Kim has not been able to dispose of him, despite reports of a large purge of military officers earlier this year.