Pak Hon-yong

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Pak Hon-yong
Pak Hon-yong12.jpg
Pak Hon-yong in 1946
Born (1900-05-28)28 May 1900
Yesan, South Chungcheong Province, Korea
Died 5 December 1956?
Pyongyang, DPRK
Nationality Korean
Education Kyŏngsŏng Ordinary High School(1919)
Alma mater KyungKi High School
Known for Korean independence activists
Athlete (Sportsperson)
Spouse(s) Joo Se-juk, Jung Sunnyen, Yi Sunkeum, Yun Lena
Children Daughter: Vivian Park, Nathesa Park
Son: Park Byungsam
Parent(s) Lee Hakkyu (Mother)
Park Hyin-ju (Father)
Pak Hon-yong
Hangul 박헌영
Revised Romanization Bak Heon-yeong
McCune–Reischauer Pak Hŏnyŏng
Pen name
Hangul 이정, 이춘
Hanja , ,
Revised Romanization Ijeong, Ichoon
McCune–Reischauer Ijŏng, Ichun
Courtesy name
Hangul 덕영
Revised Romanization Dŏnyŏng
McCune–Reischauer Deok-yeong

Pak Heon-yeong (Hangul: 박헌영, Hanja:朴憲永, 28 May 1900 – 5 December 1956?) 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 Ijung (이정) and Ichun (이춘), courtesy name was Deokyeong (덕영).

During the Japanese occupation of Korea, he tried to organize the Korean Communist Party. However, when the Japanese authorities cracked down on the party, he went into hiding. After Korea's liberation, August 1945, he set up the Korean Communist Party organization in the South, but under pressure from US 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. After 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 Korean Communist Party, 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 Korean Communist Party. 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 Russia, 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 Korean Communist Party was re-established, having been officially disbanded in 1928, and Pak became its secretary. On 5 January 1946, as a representative of the Korean Communist Party, 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 South Korean Workers' Party, 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 South Korean Workers' Party, he became Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of North Korea.[1]

Pak Hon-yong became secretary of the Korean Workers' Party 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 South Korean Workers' Party faction by Kim Il-sung.[1] On 15 December 1955, he was sentenced to death. According to recently obtained Russian documents, Pak was still alive as late as the summer of 1956. The Soviet ambassador to North Korea, Ivanov, discouraged Kim Il Sung from carrying out Pak's sentence as Pak's political career was ruined and by killing Pak, the North Korean leader might alienate South Korean progressives. Kim Il Sung rejected Ambassador Ivanov's advice, accusing him of meddling in internal North Korean matters, and suggested that the sentence would be carried out sooner rather than later. The date of Pak's death is uncertain and he was executed as an American spy.[1]


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f 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]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Leader of Joseon Communist Party
Succeeded by