The North Korean regime has carried out a sweeping Cabinet overhaul, replacing at least nine ministers and making some changes to key positions in the People’s Army and the Workers' Party.
"We have learned that the heads of the commerce, finance, and fisheries ministries and the National Economic Cooperation Committee have been dismissed, but we have not yet confirmed the names of the new ministers," a Unification Ministry official said.
In the confirmed ministries only, the leadership sacked at least nine out of 37 ministers, or 25 percent.
"Economic recovery and firm control over the political system are a must to consolidate the power that will be handed to any successor of leader Kim Jong-il," a South Korean official said. "The large-scale Cabinet reshuffle seems to have been carried out with the succession in mind."