Pak Hon-yong

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Pak Hon-yong
Pak Hon-yong12.jpg
Pak Hon-yong in 1946
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
September 1948 – August 1953
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byNam Il
General Secretary
of the Workers' Party of South Korea
In office
November 1946 – June 1949
Preceded byPosition created
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born(1900-05-28)28 May 1900
Yesan, South Chungcheong Province, Imperial Korea
Diedc. December 1955 (aged 55)
Pyongyang, North Korea
NationalityNorth Korean
Spouse(s)Joo Se-juk, Jung Sunnyen, Yi Sunkeum, Yun Lena
ChildrenDaughter: Vivian Park, Nathesa Park
Son: Park Byungsam
ParentsLee Hakkyu (Mother)
Park Hyin-ju (Father)
EducationKyŏngsŏng Ordinary High School(1919)
Alma materKyungKi High School
Known forKorean independence activists
Korean nationalist
Athlete (Sportsperson)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationBak Heon-yeong
McCune–ReischauerPak Hŏnyŏng
Pen name
Revised RomanizationIjeong, Ichun
McCune–ReischauerIjŏng, Ich'un
Courtesy name
Revised RomanizationTŏgyŏng

Pak Hon-yong (Hangul: 박헌영, Hanja:朴憲永, 28 May 1900 – December 1955?) was a Korean independence activist, politician, philosopher and Communist activist. One of the main leaders of the Korean communist movement during Japan's colonial rule (1910–45). His nickname was Ijong (이정) and Ichun (이춘), his courtesy name being Togyong (덕영).

During the Japanese occupation of Korea, he tried to organize the Korean Communist Party. When the Japanese authorities cracked down on the party, he went into hiding. After Korea's liberation, August 1945, he set up the Communist Party of Korea in the South, but under pressure from American authorities he moved to North Korea in April 1948. He attended a meeting with Kim Gu and Kim Kyu-sik on the subject of Korean reunification. He participated in collaboration with Kim Il-sung in the Korean War. In 1955, he was executed by Kim Il-sung's security forces as an American spy.[1]


Early life[edit]

Pak was born to a yangban family of the Yeonghae Park lineage in Sinyang-myeon, Yesan County, Chungcheongnam-do. However, he was the illegitimate son of a concubine.

In 1919, he graduated from Kyŏngsŏng Ordinary High School, now Kyunggi High School.[2] In March 1919, he was involved in the March 1st Movement and later independence movements.

Political activities[edit]

In 1921, he joined the Shanghai branch of the Communist Party of Korea, Irkutsk faction. At this time, he was secretary of the Korean Communist Youth League. In January 1922, he participated in the Comintern Far East People's Representative Council in Moscow.

Pak Hon-yong was arrested in Korea in April 1922 and was charged with being a Communist Party organizer. He was released in 1924 and became active as a reporter for the newspapers Dong-a Ilbo and Chosun Ilbo.


On 18 April 1925, Pak Hon-yong became one of the founders of the Communist Party of Korea. From this point until the end of World War II his activities were clandestine.

In 1926, he appeared in court. During the trial, he feigned insanity and ate feces, with the result that he was acquitted in November of that year. Afterwards, he was confined to his home due to his supposed ill-health, but in December he escaped by way of Manchuria to reach the Soviet Union. It was only then that the Japanese realized that he was feigning madness.

In the Soviet Union, he was educated in Communism, returning home in 1940. Back in Korea, he was active in the resistance to Japanese rule.

After World War II[edit]

Late in August 1945, the Communist Party of Korea was re-established, having been officially disbanded in 1928, and Pak became its secretary. On 5 January 1946, as its representative, he announced at a foreign and domestic press conference that, supporting the decision of the Moscow conference of great powers (UK, US, Soviet Union), Korea was now in the process of a "democratic revolution".

In December 1946, he organized the Workers Party of South Korea, and became its first secretary.

South and North Korea negotiations and life in North Korea[edit]

In April 1948, he visited North Korea for negotiations, along with Kim Gu and Kim Kyu-sik. In May 1948, the negotiations ended, and he remained in the North.

In September 1948, while keeping his role as secretary of the Workers' Party of South Korea, he became Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of North Korea.[1]

Pak Hon-yong became secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea when the North and South parties united in April 1950. Pak was the vice chairman of the Politburo of the DPRK from 1949 to 1953.[1] Pak was Foreign Minister of the DPRK until he was ousted and arrested in 1953.[1]

Arrest and death[edit]

Pak Hon-yong, 1952.

Pak Hon-yong was arrested on 3 August 1953 in a purge of the formers members of the Workers' Party of South Korea by Kim Il-sung.[1] On 15 December 1955, he was sentenced to death for espionage. The date of Pak's death is uncertain, though sources suggest that he was executed that same month.[3][4][5]


  • Modern society and our duty
  • Historical viewed of Christian inner

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Lankov, Andrei (2013). The Real North Korea. Oxford University Press. pp. 13 to 14. ISBN 978-0-19-996429-1.
  2. ^ "영해박씨 박헌영". Bakssi Jokbo website. Retrieved 11 April 2006.[dead link]
  3. ^ Suh, Dae-Sook (1988). Kim Il Sung: The North Korean Leader. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 136. ISBN 9780231065733.
  4. ^ Paige, Glenn D.; Lee, Dong Jun (1963). "The Post-War Politics of Communist Korea". The China Quarterly (14): 17–29. JSTOR 651340.
  5. ^ Deane, Hugh (1996). "Review of The Origins of the Korean War by Bruce Cumings". Science & Society. 60 (2): 252–254. JSTOR 40403565.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Leader of Joseon Communist Party
Succeeded by