Kim Hails Accord With S. Korea as Landmark

Kim Hails Accord With S. Korea as LandmarkKim Hails Accord With S. Korea as Landmark

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un called this week’s accord between the rival Koreas “a landmark occasion” paving the way for defused military tension and improved ties, but said it was the strength of its armed forces that made the deal possible.

“The joint press release … provided a crucial landmark occasion of defusing the acute military tension and putting the catastrophic inter-Korean relations on the track of reconciliation and trust,” the North’s KCNA news agency on Friday quoted Kim as saying in a meeting with military aides, Reuters reported.

Kim said the accord was reached “thanks to the tremendous military muscle with the nuclear deterrent … built by the great party as a pivot and matchless ranks single-mindedly united around the party.”

North and South Korea on Tuesday agreed to end a military standoff that sparked an exchange of artillery fire and had ratcheted up tension on one of the world’s most heavily-fortified borders.

 North’s Officials Dismissed

Kim dismissed several top officials in the wake of the recent standoff with South Korea, state media reported Friday, a move that suggests the young leader holds them responsible for allowing the confrontation to nearly spin out of control.

He dismissed an unspecified number of members of the party’s Central Military Commission, which handled the standoff, a KCNA dispatch said.

It was not known if the dismissed North Korean officials received heavier punishment other than being removed from their party posts.

Since taking over after the death of his father Kim Jong-il in late 2011, Kim has orchestrated a series of executions and purges in what foreign analysts say was an attempt to bolster his grip on power.

South Korea’s intelligence service said that in April Kim had his defense chief executed for disloyalty.