Choe Deok-sin

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Choe Deok-sin
Revised Romanization Choe Deok-sin
McCune–Reischauer Ch'oe Tŏksin

Choe Deok-sin (September 17, 1914 – November 14, 1989) was a South Korean Foreign Minister who later defected with his wife, Ryu Mi-yong, to North Korea.[1]

In 1936, Choe graduated from Republic of China Military Academy, and served as a Republic of China Army officer.[2] When World War II ended, Choe was promoted to colonel.[2] After the war Choe returned to South Korea and entered Army Academy as a second lieutenant.[2] In 1949, Choe entered the United States Army Academy.[2] On 14 July 1950, Choe returned to South Korea.[2] Choe served as a commanding general of 11th division under the United States IX Corps during Korean War.[2][3] His division carried out the Sancheong-Hamyang and Geochang massacres. After the military coup, from 1961 to 1963, Choe served as a Foreign Minister and Ambassador to West Germany.[1]

In 1986, Choe defected with his wife Ryu Mi-yong to North Korea from their exile in the United States, where they had been known for their opposition to the policies of the South Korean military government.[4] Choe served as a chief of the central committee of the Chondogyo religious movement and vice-chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.[1][4]


  • Choe Deok-sin (1972). Panmunjom and After. New York: Vantage Press. OCLC 754916. 
  • — (1987). The Nation and I: For the Reunification of the Motherland. Pyongyang: Foreign Languages Publishing House. OCLC 17933376. 
  • — (1989). My Thirty Years in South Korea: Amid the Tragedy of National Division. Pyongyang: Foreign Languages Publishing House. OCLC 21567991. 
  • — (1990). In the Embrace of My Motherland. Pyongyang: Foreign Languages Publishing House. OCLC 27117555. 

See also[edit]


Political offices
Preceded by
Song Yo-chan
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of South Korea
Succeeded by
Gim Yong-sik