|Date of Birth
|Place of Birth
||Chongjin, North Hamkyong Province
||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
||Kim Il Sung University, Moscow State University
||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.