North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

KPA Artillery Commander, Ri Jong Bu, Dies

KPA Artillery Commander, Colonel-General Ri Jong Bu has passed away.  Col. Gen. Ri was appointed to his position to his position in January, 2009, and was reported to have escorted Kim Jong on several occasions in 2009.  Col. Gen Ri was previously commanding officer of Wonsan Corps.  Yonhap reports:

Ri Jong-bu, a three-star general who attended Kim when the leader inspected artillery drills early last year, is believed to have risen to the post in January 2009.

The official Korean Central News Agency did not say when or how Ri died, nor did it say how old he was. The brief report said Kim sent a wreath Tuesday to show his condolences.

North Korea has amassed a bulk of its artillery forces along its border with South Korea, posing a considerable threat to its southern neighbor. The two Koreas are technically locked in war after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce.

An affiliate of 38 North