North Korean Military Sees Increase in Officers Seeking Discharge

As their elite status begins to wane, many of North Korea’s high-ranking military officers are now trying to exit the military, according to an RFA Korean Service source.

Outside analysts of North Korean politics say national leader Kim Jong Un over the past several years has shifted from his father’s emphasis on the military as the main pillar of his regime to a focus on boosting the economy and giving the ruling Worker’s Party more power.

Dubbed the byungjin (parallel development) policy, the shift represents the Kim government’s latest attempt to legitimize the young leader’s authority. But the pivot has resulted in a less-privileged lifestyle for military officers, who had been thriving under the previous two rulers.

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