Top North Korea military man stripped of political power

A top military official in North Korea has been dismissed by new leader Kim Jong Un.

According to North Korea's KCNA news agency, Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho, a top adviser to Kim's late father, Kim Jong Il, was removed as vice chairman of the Central Military Commission during a meeting on Sunday. It was not immediately clear if Ri—a long time army officer—was also removed from his military posts.

North Korean officials said Ri, who is thought to be 70, was ill—but according to Reuters, Ri "showed no sign of ill-health" a week ago, when Kim Jong Un and other senior military officials attended a memorial honoring late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, Kim's grandfather.

According to the news service, the move suggests that Kim—who last week was seen on state television with a mystery woman at several public events, including the memorial—may be "purging the ruling elite to strengthen [his] grip on the secretive state" and "jazzing up the ruling family dynasty's normally dour image."