Perhaps Tom Ricks' next book Generalship will be an analysis of the hiring, firing, and rehabilitation of north Korean Generals.
But on a serious note, I would be careful about the analysis of the demotions and promotions. Was he really "demoted" and sent to 4th Corps and then rehabilitated because of his "success" for the Northwest Island conflicts (Cheonan and Y-P Do) in 2010 or was he sent there deliberately to execute those operations because he enjoyed the special trust and confidence of Kim Jong-il? There could be more here than meets the eye and I will defer to those Korea hands who analyze the north Korean leadership moves.
Hawk Returns to Senior N.Korean Army Post
Gen. Kim Kyok-sik, who orchestrated the artillery shelling of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island in November of 2010, has been restored to his former rank. North Korean state TV on Monday reported leader Kim Jong-un's visit to a military squadron and showed Kim Kyok-sik, who accompanied him, wearing the insignia of a four-star general, a Unification Ministry official said.
Kim had been demoted to a three-star general for his apparent failure to deal effectively with Seoul's responses after the shelling of Yeonpyeong. Pyon In-son, North Korea's vice minister of the People's Armed Forces, was put in command of forces along the west coast replacing Kim.
(Continued at the above link)