Marking what may be the beginning of a purge of older officials, North Korean military chief Ri Yong-ho has been removed from his post.
The decision was made by the country’s young leader Kim Jong-un, who took over after the death of his father Kim Jong-il last December.
Often seen together with Kim, Ri’s dismissal has come as a surprise to many.
The official reason for Ri losing his job is illness, however analysts are speculating the change signals Kim replacing former officials with younger ones of his choosing. Kim has made key appointments of younger men with backgrounds in economics.
Ri was made army chief by Kim Jong-il three years ago, and was one of eight people close to the former leader who accompanied the hearse during his funeral.