'Sacked' North Korean military leader may have been killed in firefight with new commander-in-chief
London, July 20 (ANI): The expelled commander-in-chief of the North Korean forces may have among the 20 or 30 North Korean soldiers killed during a gun fight, when the incoming commander attempted to carry out orders to sack him, according a report.
Unconfirmed intelligence reports suggest that Ri Yong-ho, the sacked army chief may have been injured or killed in the fight, as Ri has not been seen since earlier this week.
"We cannot rule out the possibility that Ri was injured or even killed in the firefight," The Telegraph quoted a source, as saying.
According to Seoul based officials, guards protecting Ri apparently opened fire when the new commander-in-chief, Vice Marshal Choe Ryong-hae, attempted to detain him on orders from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Choe is believed to be the right-hand man of Jang Song-taek, the uncle and patron of the North Korean leader, the report said.
"Ri who became extremely powerful under former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's "songun" or military-first doctrine were considered a threat to the young North Korean leader," the paper said.
"The firefight has still not been 100 percent confirmed. It may take some time for us to gain a clearer picture of what happened," the paper quoted a government official, as saying.
Choe, who made his career in the Workers Party after being appointed director of the bureau, repeatedly clashed with Ri, whose career was based on his role as a field commander and kept him under surveillance. (ANI)
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