Kim Yong-un’s uncle and brother of North Korea’s founder died at 101

Kim Yong-ju (file / KCNA)

Kim Yong-ju, brother of the founder of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, and great-uncle of the current leader, Kim Jong-un, died at 101North Korean media reported Wednesday.

Own Kim Jong-un sent a wreath on Tuesday, according to the agency KCNA, which does not detail when the death occurred.

“Kim Yong-ju fought devotedly to implement the Party’s political lines and helped accelerate socialist construction and develop the Korean-style state social system while working in prominent positions in the Party and the State for several years, ”the text explains.

The brief note recalled that Kim Yong-ju became vice chairman of the standing committee of the North Korean People’s Congress and that he received the order from Kim Il-sung and also the order from Kim Jong-il.

Precisely it was his nephew Kim Jong-il (father of the current leader) who separated him from his rise to power, when it was debated who would be the successor of Kim Il-sung.

Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, the first two North Korean leaders (Reuters)
Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, the first two North Korean leaders (Reuters) (DANISH SIDDIQUI /)

Kim Yong-ju was born in 1920, eight years after his brother Kim Il-sung, on the outskirts of Pyongyang.

He spent his childhood in Manchuria (northeast China), where it is believed that he was able to work as a translator for the forces of the Japanese imperial occupation against which his own brother fought.

He graduated in economics from Moscow State University in 1945, the year in which the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula ended, and he later returned to North Korea, where his brother had been appointed by the Soviet forces to lead the new country resulting from the division established around the 38th parallel.

Kim worked his way up the ranks of the regime and, By the early 1970s he was one of the main candidates to inherit the positions of Kim Il-sung, along with Kim Jong-il and his half-brother, Kim Pyong-il.

Kim Yong-ju would participate in the talks sponsored by the Red Cross that in 1972 would lead to the first joint declaration of the two Koreas after the war, a text that urged to work for “peaceful reunification.”

Kim Jong-il would end up prevailing over his two rivals and by 1974 – the year in which Kim Yong-ju was placed as vice prime minister – he was already the person designated to command the country., something he would officially do from 1994, when Kim Il-sung died, until his death in 2011.

From 1975 Kim Yong-ju He disappeared from the political scene for two decades until reappearing in the 1990s to support, as vice president, his nephew’s transition to power.

The last images of Kim Yong-ju reproduced by North Korean propaganda date from 2015.

(With information from EFE)


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