Choi Jin-wook, senior fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification goes into detail. Speculation, he says, focuses on the role of Jang Song-thaek, vice chairman of the national defense commission and husband of Kim Jong-il’s younger sister. Mr. Jang, he says, may be the individual exercising the greatest influence on Kim Jong-un whom he calls, “inexperienced in party affairs and government.”
As the extreme changes in the political/military segments are taking place, Kim Jong Un has been seen in the North Korean media. State TV last weekend saw the leader watching a concert, and visiting with schoolchildren in the company of an unnamed young lady who was described as “carrying herself much like a first lady.”
Let’s consider the opinion of one last expert. Professor Yang Moo Jin a professor at the University of North Korean Studies told Bloomberg News, "All high-ranking officials customarily remain in service throughout, regardless [of] sicknesses, and hold their posts until they die. The firing of Ri means the end of the country's hawkish 'military-first' policy putting the troops before any other policy objective, and possibly the beginning of governance more focused on improving the economy."
Photo credits: Korean Times, sulekha.com, The New York Times