I believe it is important to understand that the Minister of People's Armed Forces is the leader of support functions in the KPA and has little impact on operations outside that support. It has been that way since Stalin's insistence it be that way as a condition of his support to Kim Il-sung prior to the attack on the South in June 1950. None of the vice-ministers or other offices of the MPAF are operationally oriented. That is the function of the KPA General Staff Department. The MPAF is all about logistics, manufacturing, construction, foreign / inter=-military relations, etc.
The second thing I would observe is that now both the Minister and Chief of the General Staff have fairly so-so backgrounds, the point being that the level of competence of senior KPA commanders is on a distinct downturn. Couple those two with (no military experience and Vice Marshall then GEN then back to VM) Choi Yong-hae's appointment as Director of General Political Bureau (senior political commissar), and we have a pretty clear track record of lessening the military's influence at the very senior levels.
KIm Kyok-sik was a pretty tough old dude. He was 2nd Corps Cdr for ten years during the 1990's and into the next decade. He knows more about ROK-US CFC than any general in the KPA. He oversaw the emplacement of the long-range artillery above Seoul. He re-did the artillery along the Hwanghae Province coast across from the NLL. Losing this guy's experience would be a huge blow. If indeed they have canned him - he may still be an adviser.
I would add that no army benefits from losing experience like that of Kim Kyok-sik. Imagine getting rid of the Patton's of the army.