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|16-7-2012 - He had been at Kim prada
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He had been at Kim Jong-un's side since the young man emerged publicly as father Kim Jong-il's successor in 2010, often standing between father and son at major events.
Ri was at Kim's side at his father's funeral, and accompanied him on his first trips to visit military units after he took power in a pointed show of continuity and military support as Kim sought to shore up the backing of the nation's troops.
Under Kim Jong Il, who ruled under a "military first" policy, the army became a powerful institution in North Korea. Ri held main posts at three crucial institutions: the Korean People's Army, the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party and the Presidium of the party's influential Political Bureau.
Ri also oversaw an influential Kim Jong-un support group comprising officers in their 50s and 60s whom commanders consider rising stars, according to Ken Gause, a North Korea specialist at CNA, a U.S.-based research organization.
In April, younger officials with economic backgrounds were promoted to key party positions, in line with Kim Jong Un's drive to build up the nation's economy.
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