Two key officials involved in North Korea’s nuclear and missile program were reportedly nowhere to be seen during public events this week, fueling speculation that another missile launch or nuke test could be imminent. Ri Man-gon, supervisor of the department for the nuclear and missile development, and Kim Rak-gyom, the head of the strategic rocket forces, were noticeably missing at a Saturday mass rally

in Pyongyang and a Tuesday celebration for the anniversary of the Worker’s Party of Korea, according to South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo. A government-funded organization staff member told the publication there was “little chance” the top officials were removed from their positions because they were “praised for [recent] major achievements.” “It’s highly likely that they were absent because they’d been given an important assignment,” the individual said. READ MORE