Kim Won-bong

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Kim Won-bong (김원봉, 金元鳳, August 13, 1898 – c.1958) was a Korean anarchist, independence activist, and statesman from North Korea.

Kim Won-Bong
Kim Won-bong 1.jpg
Deputy Commander of the Korean Liberation Army
In office
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born(1898-08-13)13 August 1898
Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do milyanggun, Korean Empire
(now Miryang, South Korea)
Diedc. 1958
North Korea
Political partyIndependent (anarchist)
Spouse(s)Park Cha-jeong
Choi Dong-Seon
ChildrenKim Cheol-Geon
Kim Joong-Geon
Kim Hak-Bong
OccupationPolitician, military general
Military service
Allegiance Korea
Branch/serviceKorean Liberation Army
Years of service1941–1945
Battles/warsWorld War II
Korean name
Revised RomanizationKim Wonbong
McCune–ReischauerKim Wŏnpong


Kim Won-bong was born on September 28 (August 13 in the lunar calendar), 1898, in Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-Do province, Korea. His father was Kim Ju-Ik and his mother was Lee Gyeong-Nyeom. Lee died giving birth to Kim Won-bong's brother, Kyung-Bong.

In February 1919, Kim entered the Shinheung Military Academy (Korean신흥무관학교; Hanja新興武官學校) and underwent military education for six months, after which he dropped out of the academy. On November 9 of the same year, Kim organized a Korean nationalist underground organization known as the Korean Heroic Corps (의열단; 義烈團), with Yang Gun-ho, Gwak Jae-ki, Han Bong-geun, Kim Ok, and others. Among the Heroic Corps aims were the assassinations of Japanese officials and their collaborators, coupled with attacks on Japanese bases. After assuming the position of leader of the Heroic Corps,[1] Kim Won-Bong found that he could not accomplish the aims of the organization as it did not have a sufficient number of members. As a result, he joined the Whampoa Military Academy in 1926. Kim used the pseudonym "Choi Rim" and organized the Korean National Revolutionary Party, and the Joseon Communist Reconstruction Party.[2]

The Korean National Revolutionary Party was formed in Shanghai in 1935 by a group of left-wing nationalist Korean parties, organized by Kim Kyu-sik, Kim Won-Bong and Cho Soang.[3] On July 10, 1937, at the invitation of the Government of the Republic of China, Kim went to Lushan, the Chinese government's conference site and resort. During his time there, Chinese government officials insisted upon associating the united front against Japanese Imperialism. Before his return, Won-bong received extensive funding from the Chinese governor.[4]

Kim Won-Bong served as the deputy commander of the Korean Liberation Army (한국 광복군) of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea. After Korean Independence, he returned to Korea with the officials of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea on December 3. After the liberation, he attended a meeting with Kim Gu, Kim Kyu-sik and Pak Hon-Yong.

Kim Won-Bong married twice. His first wife, Choi Dong-seon, died young. After her death, he married Park Cha-jeong. He had two sons and one daughter: Kim Cheol-Geon (김철건), Kim Joong-Geon (김중건) and Kim Hak-Bong (김학봉), respectively. His pen name was Yaksan (약산 若山), which means "like a mountain".

In 1958, he was purged by Kim Il-Sung. There are many different accounts of Kim's death. According to one, Kim committed suicide by taking cyanide.[5]

Popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The Academy of Korean Studies(한국학중앙연구원) : Kim Won-Bong(김원봉)".
  2. ^ [이우탁(Lee Woo-tak) (2006). 《김구, 장보고, 앙드레김(Kim Gu, Jang Bo-Go, André Kim)》.동아시아(East-Asia). 142p]
  3. ^ Pratt, Keith L.; Rutt, Richard (1999), "Korean National Revolutionary Party", Korea: A Historical and Cultural Dictionary, Psychology Press, p. 236, ISBN 978-0-7007-0464-4, retrieved 2016-03-20
  4. ^ "The Academy of Korean Studies(한국학중앙연구원) : Kim Won-Bong(김원봉)".
  5. ^ "[박용배 칼럼] 김원봉과 나혜석"