Kim Chon-hae

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Kim Chon-hae
Kim Chyon-hae.JPG
Korean name
Hangul 김천해
Revised Romanization Gim Cheon-hae
McCune–Reischauer Kim Ch'ŏn-hae
Pen name
Hangul 김학의
Revised Romanization Gim Hak-ui
McCune–Reischauer Kim Hak-ŭi
Japanese name:
Kin Tenkai ()

Kim Chon-hae (Hangul김천해; Hanja金天海; RRGim Cheon-hae, Japanese reading: Kin Tenkai; 10 May 1898, Ulsan-gun, South Gyeongsang – 1969?) was a Zainichi Korean who was a leading figure in the Japanese Communist Party and a founder of the pro-communist League of Koreans in Japan, predecessor of the modern Chongryon. He was subsequently a politician in North Korea, holding posts connected to the Workers' Party of Korea.

Born in 1898 at Ulsan, in 1920 he moved to Japan and studied mathematics at Nihon University in Tokyo. While there, he organized a Korean workers' movement and was elected chairman of the Federal Union of Zainichi Koreans.[1] Detained as a political prisoner, he was released on 10 October 1945 after Japan's defeat in the Second World War, and became a member of the executive committee of the JCP.[2]

Although the League of Koreans was founded as a non-political organization, his appointment as supreme adviser ensured its drift toward the left.[2] Under Kim's influence, the League purged its anti-communist members and in February 1946 it joined the Korean Democratic National Front.[3] In 1951, Edward Wagner described Kim as "the man who probably is to be credited more than any other with shaping the League's political orientation and preserving its undeviating character".[4]

He subsequently moved to North Korea in 1950 and became a member of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea,[5] and from April 1956 he served as chairman of the Fatherland Front.[6] He remained in the Front's presidium through the first half of the 1960s.[7] North Korean official sources state that Kim died in 1969,[8] but the actual date and circumstances of his death are unknown.[5]


  1. ^ Kim Hak-jun (김학준) (2008). 북한의 역사 제2권: 미소냉전과 소련군정 아래서의 조선민주주의인민공화국 건국 1946년 1월 ~ 1948년 9원 [A History of North Korea, Vol. 2: The Establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea under the Evolution of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Cold War and the Soviet Military Rule (January 1946–September 1948)] (in Korean). Seoul National University Press. p. 78. ISBN 9788952107763. 
  2. ^ a b Chapman, David (2007). Zainichi Korean Identity and Ethnicity. Routledge. p. 26. ISBN 9781134092093. 
  3. ^ Chapman, p. 27.
  4. ^ Wagner, Edward W. (1951). The Korean Minority in Japan, 1904-1950. International Secretariat, Institute of Pacific Relations. 
  5. ^ a b Kim, p. 79.
  6. ^ Lee, Chong-sik; Scalapino, R. A. (1972). Communism in Korea: Part I: The Movement. University of California Press. p. 490. ISBN 9788933700013. 
  7. ^ Lee & Scalapino, p. 519.
  8. ^ White paper on human rights in North Korea, 1999. Research Institute for National Unification. 1998. p. 147. ISBN 9788987509389.