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TV footage suggests possible comeback of senior N. Korean official

2018/02/15 23:15

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SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- A man who appears to be a disgraced former North Korean top military officer attended a party ceremony to commemorate the birthday of late leader Kim Jong-il, footage from North Korea's state broadcaster indicated Thursday.

The official, who appears to be Hwang Pyong-so, former director of the military's powerful General Political Bureau, was seen standing and clapping along with key officials at the ceremony in Pyongyang, a possible sign that he has made a political comeback.

Hwang has not appeared in public since last October. Seoul officials said he was dismissed and sent to a retraining program amid a three-month sweeping inspection started that month.

The man in a white circle appears to be Hwang Pyong-so, former director of the military's powerful General Political Bureau, in footage aired by North Korea's state television on Feb. 15, 2018. (Yonhap) The man in a white circle appears to be Hwang Pyong-so, former director of the military's powerful General Political Bureau, in footage aired by North Korea's state television on Feb. 15, 2018. (Yonhap)

The ceremony was held one day before the 76th birthday of the father of current leader Kim Jong-un.

South Korea's spy agency has said in a parliamentary briefing that North Korea's powerful Organization and Guidance Department inspected the military's General Political Bureau due to its "impure attitude" for the first time in two decades.

As a result of the inspection, Hwang was dismissed from the top post of the military's General Political Bureau and was presumed to have undergone ideological education at a high-level party school.

entropy@yna.co.kr

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