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.