November 29, 2023

Choe Ryong Hae reappears after rumors of his arrest

High-ranking official not purged, but still may be out of Kim’s true inner circle

Choe Ryong Hae has made his first public appearance since February 16, quelling recent rumors of his arrest and detention. His reappearance, though, doesn’t necessarily mean his power isn’t waning.

Vice Marshall Choe, the director of the Korean People’s Army General Political Bureau, accompanied North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on a field guidance visit to KPA Air and Anti-Air Force Unit 2620, the KCNA and Rodong Sinmun reported March 7. The last time Choe was seen in public was at Kim’s visit to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun for the celebration of late leader Kim Jong Il’s birthday on February 16. Choe’s reappearance alongside North Korea’s Supreme Leader indicates that rumors Choe was purged and arrested by the Ministry of State Security are likely untrue.