Kim Jong Un 'fires North Korea's top three military generals'

North Korea shakes up military leadership ahead of Trump summit: U.S. official

North Korea shakes up military leadership ahead of Trump summit: U.S. official

Trump on Friday revived the summit after cancelling it a week earlier.

"The Syrian government will as ever fully support all policies and measures of the DPRK leadership and invariably strengthen and develop the friendly ties with the DPRK", Assad said, as quoted by KCNA.

The report by the Yonhap news agency, citing an intelligence source, could not be independently verified. The latter's replacement was announced in North Korean state media last month.

Since the North signalled at the start of this year that it was open to a rapprochement with the South, with which it is still technically at war, Mr Kim has met Chinese President Xi Jinping, South Korea's Moon Jae-in and has floated a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin this year.

Assad reportedly made the remarks as he received the credentials of North Korean Ambassador to Syria Mun Jong-nam.

Suspicions over chemical weapons trade between Pyongyang and Damascus have been raised in the past by the United Nations and South Korea.

Both countries have faced worldwide isolation - North Korea over its nuclear weapons program, and Syria over its tactics during its bloody civil war.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says all three have been replaced ahead of the 12 June summit in Singapore, the first meeting between sitting leaders of the USA and North Korea.

Syria and North Korea have maintained close relations for decades.

In 2017, Pyongyang earned some 200 million dollars by shipping equipment to Syria in violation of worldwide sanctions, which were orchestrated by Washington in an effort to cut off income to the North Korean regime, The Guardian reported.

The comments sought to address concern the United States may be rushing to strike a breakthrough in the unprecedented summit between the two leaders after U.S. President Donald Trump put the meeting back on track for June 12 in Singapore. But the North has given no clear hints about how far it could go toward meeting USA demands to dismantle its nuclear program.

"The optics are horrendous given that Kim Jong-un is trying to posture as a good guy", Sue Mi Terry, the Korea chair at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington told the New York Times.

Pyongyang's military, known as the Korean People's Army, is immensely influential in the North and a centre of power in its own right, symbolised by the way Kim is habitually flanked by generals on one side and civilians on the other when attending major ceremonial events. Song called for greater military cooperation to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea.

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