A confidant of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is quickly gaining power within the ranks of the ruling elite, so much so that there's speculation is he could soon become the regime's second most powerful man.
North Korean state media reports that Hwang Pyong-so has been promoted to the rank of vice marshal.
That puts Hwang on the same level as Choe Ryong-hae , the top political officer in the North Korean People's army, widely regarded as the North's second most powerful figure.
Hwang's promotion comes around two weeks after a similar promotion to a first vice director of the Organization and Guidance Department, also one of the most powerful posts in the North.
Hwang has been one of Kim Jong-un's closest aides since Kim was officially tapped to succeed Kim Jong-il in 2010.