Kim Chaek

Kim Chaek (Korean김책; Hanja金策, 14 August 1903 – 31 January 1951) was a North Korean National resistance activist, general and politician. His real name was Kim Hong-gye (김홍계, 金洪啓).

Kim Chaek
Kim Chaek 2.jpg
Kim Chaek
Vice Premier of the Cabinet
In office
9 September 1948 – 31 January 1951
PremierKim Il-sung
Minister of Industry
In office
9 September 1948 – 31 January 1951
PremierKim Il-sung
Preceded byPost established
Succeeded byChong Il-yong
Personal details
Born(1903-08-14)14 August 1903
Sŏngjin, Haksong County, North Hamgyong Province, Korean Empire
Died31 January 1951(1951-01-31) (aged 47)
CitizenshipNorth Korean
OccupationNorth Korean general and politician
AwardsNorth Korea's National Reunification Prize
Korean name
Revised RomanizationKim Chaek
McCune–ReischauerKim Ch'aek


Kim Chaek was born in Sŏngjin, North Hamgyong, Korea, in 1903. He and his family fled to Manchuria after Korea was colonized by Japan. In 1927, Kim joined the Communist Party of China and the Anti-Japanese movement to oppose the Japanese occupation. He was imprisoned for his resistance activities. After his released from prison, Kim joined the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army in 1935 and fought alongside with Kim Il-sung. He fled to the Soviet Union to escape the Japanese conquest of the partisans in 1940. He lived in Khabarovsk where he met with Kim Il-sung and formed the 88th Special Brigade. He returned to Korea along with the Soviet Army in 1945 after the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. On September 9, 1948, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was established, and Kim Chaek became industry minister and deputy prime minister under Kim Il-sung. He was appointed number 2 Committee Vice Chairman in the Korean Workers Party. In the Korean War, he was a commander of the North Korean troops on the front lines.

Kim was purged when he was found responsible for the failure at the Inchon landing. He died in January 1951 after an American military air raid bombing. Some scholars believe that his death was an assassination after a power struggle, and caused by gas poisoning rather than an air strike.[1]

Posthumous honoursEdit

The Kim Chaek University of Technology in Otan-Kangan Street, Pyongyang

After his death, Kim Chaek's birthplace Haksong County, combined with the neighboring city of Songjin, was formally renamed to Kim Chaek City to commemorate his life and accomplishments.[2] The Kim Chaek University of Technology, Kim Chaek Iron and Steel Complex, and Kim Chaek People's Stadium[3][user-generated source] are also named after him. The stadium is located at 40°41'0"N 129°11'47"E.

He was posthumously awarded North Korea's National Reunification Prize in 1998.[4]


  • Song "Song of General Kim Il-sung" 《김일성장군의 노래》
  • Feature-length epic "Mt. Paektu" 《장편 대서사시 백두산》


  1. ^ Lim Un (1982). 北朝鮮王朝成立秘史: 金日成正伝 [The Founding of a Dynasty in North Korea: An Authentic Biography of Kim II-song] (in Japanese). 自由社. OCLC 674262502.
  2. ^ Koehler, Robert (2004-09-15). "Kim Il-sung's family and North Korean place names". The Marmot's Hole. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "National Reunification Prize Winners", Korean Central News Agency, 1998-05-07, archived from the original on 2013-06-02, retrieved 2012-09-13
  • Korea, a century of change by Jürgen Kleiner page 275
  • Korea Web Weekly Remembering Kim Chaik
  • Kim Jong Il Biography. Pyongyang: Foreign Languages Publishing House for Literature, 2005.