Kim Hyong-gwon

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Kim Hyong-gwon
Kim Hyong Gwon prison portrait.jpg
Kim Hyong-gwon in prison with a name tag
Born(1905-11-04)4 November 1905
Nam Ri, Kopyong Sub-county, Taedong County, South Pyongan Province, Korea (present day Mangyongdae-guyok, Pyongyang, North Korea)[1]
Died12 January 1936(1936-01-12) (aged 30) (in captivity)
NationalityKorean
OccupationGuerrilla
OrganizationYoung Communist League of Korea[1]
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl
Hancha
Revised RomanizationGim Hyeonggwon
McCune–ReischauerKim Hyŏnggwŏn[3]

Kim Hyong-gwon (Korean김형권; 4 November 1905 – 12 January 1936) was a Korean revolutionary. He is known for attacking a Japanese police station in Japanese-occupied Korea and subsequently dying in Seoul's Seodaemun Prison where he was serving his sentence.

Kim Hyong-gwon was an uncle of the founding North Korean leader, Kim Il-sung.[1] As such, he is among the most celebrated of the Kim family members in North Korean propaganda. Kimhyonggwon County in North Korea is named after him.

Personal life[edit]

The barracks of Seodaemun Prison during winter.
Seodaemun Prison, where Kim Hyong-gwon died, was used for keeping anti-colonial activists in custody.

In his youth, Kim Hyong-gwon studied in Sunhwa school near his home in present-day Mangyongdae, Pyongyang.[4]

Kim was a revolutionary fighter and an active communist in the 1930s. His personality has been described as "hot-tempered".[5] In August 1930, he led a small detachment of guerrillas across the Amnok (Yalu) river to Japanese-occupied Korea from Manchuria.[1] His small group's actions near Pungsan at that time got noticed by the Japanese press.[6] He captured two Japanese police cars, and both of these acts occurred in mountainous terrain.[7][8] Some time after attacking a Japanese police station in Pungsan, he was arrested near Hongwon.[7] He was sentenced to 15 years in prison when he was 28 years old. He died on 12 January 1936, during his sentence in Seoul's Seodaemun Prison,[9][10][11] where anti-Japanese dissidents were detained from 1910 to 1945 in cruel conditions.[12]

Kim Il-sung remarks in his autobiography With the Century, that it was a corrupt yet close Manchurian local official, Chae Jin-yong, who betrayed his uncle and became an informer against him.[10]

Legacy[edit]

Kim Hyong-gwon is among the most important Kim family members in propaganda, and comparable in that context to other prominent family members like Kim Il-sung's father Kim Hyong-jik, or great grandfather Kim Ung-u, who is claimed to have been involved in the General Sherman incident.[3][13] North Korean propaganda insists that most family members were in some way participating in the foundation of the North Korean state and among them Kim Hyong-gwon is portrayed as having been sacrificed for anti-Japanese struggle and the revolution.[3]

Kim Hyong-gwon was included into the personality cult in 1976.[14] North Korean media uses similar honorifics for him as they use with Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-suk.[15]

Kimhyonggwon County, previously known as Pungsan, in southeastern Ryanggang Province, was renamed after him in August 1990.[16] There is also a Kim Hyong Gwon Teachers' College named after him, and Hamnam University of Education Nr. 1 was renamed Kim Hyong Gwon University of Education in 1990. Both of them are in Sinpo.[17] Various sites of honor and statues have been made in Kim's memory. Once every five years, a ceremony is held on the days of his death and birth.[3]

A North Korean film A Fire Burning All Over the World was made in 1977, and it deals with both Kang Pan-sok and Kim Hyong-gwon's revolutionary deeds. The film was also the first one to portray Il-sung.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d An Indomitable Revolutionary Fighter — Comrade Kim Hyong Gwon 1976, p. [5].
  2. ^ An Indomitable Revolutionary Fighter — Comrade Kim Hyong Gwon 1976, p. [29].
  3. ^ a b c d e Jae-Cheon Lim (24 March 2015). Leader Symbols and Personality Cult in North Korea: The Leader State. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-317-56740-0.
  4. ^ An Indomitable Revolutionary Fighter — Comrade Kim Hyong Gwon 1976, p. [7].
  5. ^ Bradley K. Martin (1 April 2007). Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader: North Korea and the Kim Dynasty. St. Martin's Press. p. 191. ISBN 978-1-4299-0699-9.
  6. ^ An Indomitable Revolutionary Fighter — Comrade Kim Hyong Gwon 1976, p. [14].
  7. ^ a b An Indomitable Revolutionary Fighter — Comrade Kim Hyong Gwon 1976, p. [12].
  8. ^ An Indomitable Revolutionary Fighter — Comrade Kim Hyong Gwon 1976, pp. [18–19].
  9. ^ An Indomitable Revolutionary Fighter — Comrade Kim Hyong Gwon 1976, p. [5], [29].
  10. ^ a b Cathcart, Adam (14 January 2012). "Historical Allegories and Revolutionary Credentials: Jang Song Taek". Sino-NK. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Kim Il Sung's Life to the Korean War". KoreanHistory.info. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Seodaemun Prison". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  13. ^ Whyte, Leon (21 March 2014). "Anti-Americanism in South Korea: Why one of our closest allies has mixed feelings". smallcrowdedworld.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  14. ^ Jae-Cheon Lim (September 2010). "Institutionalization of the cult of the Kims: its implications for North Korean political succession" (PDF). ResearchGate. Retrieved 11 July 2015. North Korean media uses similar honorifics for him as they use with Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-suk.
  15. ^ "NK Media Using Honorific Language on Heir Apparent". The Dong-a Ilbo. 5 November 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2015.
  16. ^ Yonhap News Agency, Seoul (27 December 2002). North Korea Handbook. M.E. Sharpe. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-7656-3523-5.
  17. ^ Dormels, Rainer (2014). "Profiles of the cities of DPR Korea – Sinpho" (PDF). University of Vienna. Retrieved 11 July 2015.

Sources[edit]

Further reading[edit]