|Revised Romanization||Choe Yonggeon|
June 21, 1900|
Taechon County (태천군, 泰川郡) in North Pyongan, Great Korean Empire
|Died||September 19, 1976
|Alma mater||two military academies (?)|
|Political party||Korean Democratic Party|
Choe Yong-gon (최용건, June 21, 1900 – September 19, 1976) was the Korean People's Army commander-in-chief from 1948 to 1950, North Korean defence minister from 1948 to 1957, and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea from 1957 to 1972.
Choe Yong-gon was born in Taechon County (태천군, 泰川郡) in North Pyongan, Korea, in 1900. After having attended two military academies, he fought in the Chinese Northern Expedition of 1927 and took part in the Canton Communist riots in December later that year. He led a guerrilla unit against the Japanese after they occupied Manchuria in September 1931.
In 1946, he became the chairman of the Korean Democratic Party and led this organization to a pro-communist course. Afterwards, he came into more promotions and by February 1948, he was appointed the commander-in-chief for all the armies of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. He was in fact the senior field commander for all the North Korean armies during the Korean War, from the first invasion of South Korea in June 1950 till the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed in July 1953.
In 1953, Choe was promoted to Vice Marshal and was made the Minister of Defence. In September 1957, he was removed from his position as Minister of National Defense and made the President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, a largely ceremonial position. In this post, he was North Korea's nominal head of state. He retired in 1972 and died in Pyongyang in 1976.
In his memoirs, a former chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly who defected said Choe was famous for being very hard to have close relations with, but in reality he was not that strict.
- Fyodor Tertitskiy (June 12, 2014). "An Exception to the Rules of Kimism". DailyNK. Retrieved June 18, 2014.
- "Seeds of Juche Sown by Sino-Soviet Split", Hwang Jang Yop's memories