North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Gen. Kim Ki Son

updated February 23, 2018

General Kim Ki Son [Kim Ki-so’n] is a former deputy director of the KPA General Political Department and former head of the KPA Cadres Bureau, with responsibility for organization and personnel.  General Kim is a 2nd generation KPA manager and protégé of Gen. Hyon Chol Hae (who was previous GPD deputy director for organization), a National Defense Commission manager who routinely accompanies Kim Jong Il.

Kim Ki Son was born in 1943 in North Hamgyong.  He attended Kim Il Sung Political University.  In the 1980s Kim was a cadre in the GPD’s Organization Department.  From 1988 to 1992 he served as the political commander (commissar) of I Army Corps.  From 1993 to 2003 Kim was director of the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces Cadres Bureau.  He rotated out of his GPD position during the late 2000s.

General Kim Ki Son

Deputy Director (for Organization), MPAF General Political Department

1985: Cadre, Organization Bureau, MPAF General Political Department

1988: Political Director (Commissar), I Army Corps

1992: Promoted, Lieutenant General

1993: Director, Cadres Bureau, MPAF

2003: Deputy Director for Organization, MPAF General Political Department

See also:

Yonhap News Agency.  North Korea Handbook (Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 2003) p. 833

Gause, Ken. North Korean Civil-Military Trends: Military First Politics to a Point. (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute USAWC, 2006)

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