Kim Sung-ae

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This is a Korean name; the family name is Kim.
Kim Sung-ae
Vice-Chairwoman of the Central Committee of the Korean Women's Association
In office
1965–1971
Leader Kim Il-sung
Succeeded by Herself (as Chairwoman)
Chairwoman of the Central Committee of the Korean Women's Association
In office
1971–1976
Leader Kim Il-sung
In office
1993–1998
Leader Kim Jong-Il
Personal details
Born 1928 (age 87–88)
Korea
Political party Worker's party of Korea
Spouse(s) Kim Il-sung (m. 1952–1994; his death)
Relations Kim Jong-Il (stepson, deceased)
Kim Kyong-hui (stepdaughter)
Children Kim Kyong-jin (daughter)
Kim Pyong-il (son)
Kim Yong-il (son)[1]
Alma mater None
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 김성애
Hancha 金聖愛
Revised Romanization Gim Seong-ae
McCune–Reischauer Kim Sŏng-ae

Kim Sŏng-ae (born 1928) was a North Korean politician, and the second wife of North Korean leader Kim Il-sung.

Biography[edit]

Kim Song-ae originally worked as a secretary.[2] She married Kim Il-sung in 1952, following the death of Kim Il-sung's first wife in 1949, although due to the Korean War no formal ceremony was held. One source indicates Kim Il-sung had had an affair with her even before his first wife died. She gave birth to a daughter (Kim Kyong-jin, 1953) and two sons (Kim Pyong-il, 1955; Kim Yong-il, 1957).

She later rose in political power. From the mid 1960s until the mid 1970s, Kim Song-ae allegedly held a significant amount of political influence in North Korea.[3] As her tenure of political significance occurred in about the same period as that of Jiang Qing in China during the culture revolution, Jang Jin-sung referred to Kim Song-ae as the "North Korean mirror image of Jiang Qing".[4]

In 1965, she became vice-chairwoman of the Central Committee of the Korean Women's Association or Chosun Democratic Woman’s League (조선여성총동맹), and in 1971, she rose to be chairwoman.[5] In December 1972, she became a representative of the People’s Supreme Assembly.[6]

According to Jang Jin-sung, Kim Song-ae had the ambition to place her son, Kim Pyong-il in the position of successor to her spouse Kim Il-sung, rather than his son from his first marriage, Kim Jong-il.[7] In this, she was supposedly supported by a fraction of the North Korean political elite, among them her brother Kim Kwang-hop, and Kim Il-sungs brother Kim Yong-ju, and opposed by the fraction of her stepson Kim Jong-il.[8] In the 1970s, her influence was reportedly seen as excessive by the party, who started to curb it.[9] In parallel, her stepson Kim Jong-il became the designated heir of Kim Il-sung, and his fraction worked to remove her from influence.[10][11] In 1976, Kim Sung-ae lost her position as chair of the Chosun Democratic Woman’s League, which removed her communication channel to the public and effectively curbed her power base. [12] Reportedly, Kim Sung-ae, as well as her brother-in-law Kim Yong-ju, who had supported her plans to place her son in the position of heir instead of Kim Jong-il, was placed in house arrest in 1981 upon the wish of the designated heir Kim Jong-il.[13]

In 1993, she was reinstated by Kim Jong-il as chair of the Korean Democratic Women’s Union, but her position was purely symbolic and nominal, and she was removed a second time in 1998. [14] Since 1998, little information about her has reached the outside world.[15]

In 2012, a report from a North Korean defector claimed that Kim Sung-ae had been declared insane in the early 1990s, even before the death of Kim Il-sung, and since then been kept under supervision of a psychiatric nurse in her house arrest.[16]

There are rumors that she was killed in a car accident in Beijing in June 2001.[15] Other reports claim she is still alive as of July 2011, though in poor health, and that Kim Pyong-il returned to Pyongyang from his posting in Poland to visit her.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Not the same person as former premier Kim Yong-il
  2. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  3. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  4. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  5. ^ NF|New Focus. Kim Il-sung’s wife was declared insane over 20 years ago. Politics. Tuesday 18th September, 2012
  6. ^ NF|New Focus. Kim Il-sung’s wife was declared insane over 20 years ago. Politics. Tuesday 18th September, 2012
  7. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  8. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  9. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  10. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  11. ^ NF|New Focus. Kim Il-sung’s wife was declared insane over 20 years ago. Politics. Tuesday 18th September, 2012
  12. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  13. ^ Jang Jin-sung: Dear Leader: Poet, Spy, Escapee - A Look Inside North Korea, 2014
  14. ^ NF|New FocusRo Song Sil: a key-elite of the North Korean system? Politics. Monday 8th April, 2013
  15. ^ a b Lee Su-gyeong (이수경) (2006-05-02). "김부자 실체: 김정일의 계모 김성애". Radio Free Asia (Korean service). Retrieved 2007-05-20. [dead link]
  16. ^ NF|New Focus. Kim Il-sung’s wife was declared insane over 20 years ago. Politics. Tuesday 18th September, 2012
  17. ^ "Kim Jong-il's Brother 'Under House Arrest in Pyongyang'", Chosun Ilbo, 2011-07-03, retrieved 2011-07-03