Name   Kim Kuk-thae
Sex   Male
Date of Birth   1924
Place of Birth   Chongjin, North Hamkyong Province
Posts Held Secretary and chief cadre of the Central Committee of the Korean Workers’ Party, president of Kim Il Sung Advanced School of the Korean Workers’ Party, member of the 10th and 11th Supreme People’s Assemblies and the Review Board for Representatives
Claim to Fame Party cadre, People’s Army heavyweight
Education Kim Il Sung University, Moscow State University
Profile Kim Kuk-thae was one of the closest aides of the late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung and a pivotal figure of the “second-generation revolution.” Kim Kuk-thae and Korean Workers’ Party Secretary Kim Yong-sun usually accompany the North’s incumbent leader Kim Jong-il to official events.

A soft-spoken man with a conservative attitude, Kim Kuk-thae is a secretary and chief cadre of the party’s Central Committee and president of the Kim Il Sung Advanced School of the Korean Workers’ Party.

His father Kim Chaek was a leading figure in the early years of North Korea, and served as vice premier, industry minister and a commander in the Korean War.

His brother Kim Jong-thae is a military hardliner. While a high-ranking commander of the People’s Army and intelligence chief in the 1960s, Jong-thae reportedly sent armed spies to infiltrate Uljin and Samcheok in South Korea and ordered a surprise attack on the presidential mansion of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.

Because his father fought for Korean independence from Japan, Kim Kuk-thae spent most of his childhood in Manchuria, China. After Korean liberation in 1945, he attended Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang and later studied in Russia.

Starting as a bureau director of the party’s Central Committee, his career greatly benefited from his famous pedigree. In 1963, he joined the People’s Army as vice chief of its political bureau. Four years later, he took over the same bureau at the Public Security Ministry. In 1968, he was named vice chairman of the Central Committee’s propaganda and agitation bureau. In the 1980s, he headed the party’s science and education bureau and was named chief party cadre. In 1992, he became party secretary in charge of cadres.

While head of the propaganda bureau, he grew close to Kim Jong-il, who was then deputy chief, and later helped the eventual leader’s rise to power and firm footing in the party.