June 4 (UPI) -- The removal of top North Korean military officials from their positions is inviting speculation about internal instability in the Kim Jong Un regime.
But South Korean analysts who spoke to local newspaper Chosun Ilbo say Kim is making the move not necessarily to remove disloyal personnel, but to mitigate the risk of opposition from officers who oppose denuclearization.
Other analysts say the measure was to replace the old guard with "economically minded" individuals who could carry out Kim's goal of developing North Korea's impoverished economy.
Kim Su Gil, chairman of the Pyongyang chapter of the Workers' Party replaced Kim Jong Gak, director of the Korean People Army's General Political Bureau.
Other replaced officials include Pak Yong Sik and Ri Myong Su.
Ri Yong Gil, a deputy, and No Kwang Chol, first vice minister of the ministry of the people's armed forces, replaced the officials, respectively, according to the report.
South Korea's unification ministry confirmed Kim Su Gil's appointment but declined to comment on the others.
Kim Su Gil has risen to prominence in recent months and was reportedly seen accompanying the North Korean leader to the Kalma tourist zone on May 26, according to state news agency KCNA.
Nam Sung-wook, an analyst with Korea University in Seoul, said Kim Jong Un might have been displeased when one of his targets, Ri Myong Su, was seen dozing off during one of his speeches.
"There may have been an internal decision to set the military in proper order" after the incident, Nam said.
U.S. officials at Panmunjom met with a North Korean delegation again on Monday to work out details of weapons-related commitments, South Korean newspaper Segye Ilbo reported.
But efforts may have been frustrated, owing to North Korea's lack of cooperation with initial U.S. weapon demands, a South Korean foreign ministry official told the paper.
SBS reported Monday Kim Yong Chol was seen in Beijing, transferring flights.
Last week Trump said he and the North Koreans "can go slowly" and the two sides do not plan to "sign something" on June 12.
Trump had also said he did not want to use the term "maximum pressure."
Trump and Kim Jong Un are planning to meet in Singapore.