Kim Yong-chun

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Kim Yong-chun
Chosŏn'gŭl 김영춘
Hancha 金永春
Revised Romanization Gim Yeong-chun
McCune–Reischauer Kim Yŏng-ch'un

Kim Yong-chun (born 4 March 1936) is a North Korean soldier and politician. He was a leader of the North Korean military. He held the North Korean military rank Chasu (Vice Marshal), was Vice Chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea, and was Minister of People's Armed Forces (roughly corresponds to Minister of Defence in other countries).[1][2] Currently, he holds a minor post within the Workers Party.[2]

Born in 1936 in Yanggang Province, he attended the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School and the Kim Il-sung Military University before starting his career in the party apparatus and the Korean People's Army. He served as secretary of the South Pyongyan Provincial Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea in the 1960s and was elected alternate member of the WPK Central Committee in 1980 at the 6th Party Congress. In 1986 he was elevated to Central Committee full member, director of the KPA General Staff Operations Bureau and deputy to the Supreme People's Assembly. He was abruptly purged in 1988 along with Chief of General Staff O Kuk-ryol for disputes with O Jin-u.[3]

Kim Yong-chun reappeared in the 1990s as he was promoted to general and director of the General Munitions Mobilization Bureau. He also oversaw the disbandment of the North Hamgyong Province's Sixth Army Corps, accused of corruption. In 1995, after O Jin-u's death, he was promoted to Vice Marshal and Chief of the KPA General Staff, a post he held until 2007, when he was appointed a vice-chairman of the National Defence Commission.

Kim Yong-chun was reputed close to Kim Jong-il and a member of his court of aides.[4] He received new promotions in 2009 as Minister of People's Armed Forces and in 2010 as member of the Politburo and the Central Military Commission.

In December 2011, after the leader's death, he was ranked 5th among members of the Kim Jong-il funeral committee, immediately after Kim Jong-un and the Politburo Presidium members (Kim Yong-nam, Choe Yong-rim and Ri Yong-ho), signalling his powerful position in the new leadership.[5]

He was replaced as Minister by Kim Jong-gak and appointed director of the WPK Civil Defense Department in April 2012.[2] Although displaced from all significant leading posts, he was awarded the largely honorary rank of Marshal of the Korean People's Army in April 2016.[6]


  1. ^ 북, 총리에 김영일, 국방위 부위원장에 김영춘 선임 (in Korean) Tongil News
  2. ^ a b c "Top 4 N.Korean Military Officials Fall Victim to Shakeup". Chosun Ilbo. Nov 30, 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012. 
  3. ^ VMAR Kim Yong Chun, North Korea Leadership Watch.
  4. ^ Ibid.
  5. ^ All eyes set on Kim Jong Il's funeral committee list Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine., Asahi Shimbun, December 27, 2011.
  6. ^ Ha-young Choi (15 April 2016). "Kim Jong Un promotes senior military officials". NK News. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Kim Il-chol
Minister of People's Armed Forces
Succeeded by
Kim Jong-gak
Military offices
Preceded by
Choi Kwang
Chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army
Succeeded by
Kim Kyok-sik
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