The man who oversaw one of the world's biggest armies is out. Less clear is who takes over Ri Yong Ho's position as North Korea's powerful army chief.
And more importantly, what does it mean?
Ri's sudden dismissal caught North Korea watchers by surprise. He has frequently been by Kim Jong Un's side since the young leader took over following his father's death in December 2011.
In fact, they walked opposite each other during Kim Jong Il's funeral procession.
They appeared together as recently as last week. There was no sign of disagreement, or the "illness" that forced Ri's removal.