Kim Jong Un’s firing of top military leaders could mean armed forces not happy about N. Korea denuclearization

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Kim Jong Un’s overhaul of his top military leadership a week before a planned summit with President Trump may be a sign that the North Korean leader is worried about opposition from the country’s powerful armed forces as he heads into the talks, some analysts said Monday.All three of North Korea’s top military officials have been replaced, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Sunday, citing an unnamed intelligence official.“He’s probably got fairly broad pushback from his military,” said Bruce Bennett, an analyst at RAND Corp. “He is still facing some real threats.”The level of those threats could have a direct impact on the summit scheduled for June 12 in Singapore and raise questions about how independent Kim can be in negotiating with Trump.Opposition from the country’s powerful armed forces could limit how far Kim is willing to go in dismantling his nuclear arsenal. At a minimum Kim could cite those concerns to Trump as an excuse for moving slowly with denuclearization, Bennett said.The generals probably disapprove of his “seeming willingness to make concessions” with the United States, said Andrei Lankov, a professor at Kookmin University in Seoul.

 

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