North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

VMAR Pak Ki So (1929-2010)

VMAR Pak Ki So

Pak Ki So was a former commanding officer of the Pyongyang Defense Command (Capital Defense Corps) and member of the Party Central Committee (CC KWP) and Party Central Military Committee.

Pak was born in 1929.  He attended Kim Il Sung Military University.  Pak served as a unit commander under the General Staff Operations Bureau.  He was elected an alternate member of the CC KWP at its 5th Party Congress in 1970.  He was elected a deputy of the Supreme People’s Assembly in 1982.  He was elected to full membership on the CC KWP at its 11th plenum (6th Term/6th CC) in February 1986.  In the same year he was assigned command of the 820th Tank Corps.

He was promoted to Colonel General in 1989 and to General in 1992.  In 1992 or 1993 he became commander of the Pyongyang Defense Corps, replacing VMAR Ri Tu Ik.  This is a prestigious command assignment in the KPA that traditionally goes to someone like Pak, with personal ties to the regime and a specialty in combined arms and special operations.

Pak was appointed to membership on the party’s Central Military Committee in 1995.  He was promoted to Vice Marshal in 1997.  Pak routinely attended KJI’s inspection tours of military units.  In 2002 or 2003 Pak retired as PDC Commander and was replaced by Ri Yong Ho (current CMC Vice Chairman and Chief of the General Staff).

Pak Ki So attended SPA deputies’ elections in 2009 with KJI.  He passed away in January 2010.

Pak Ki So

Member, Party Central Military Committee (CMC) (1995-2010)

Member, Party Central Committee (CC KWP)

Commander, Pyongyang Defense Corps (1993-2003)

1970: Deputy commander, KPA Commando Squad

Elected, Alternate (candidate) Member, CC KWP

1982:  Deputy, 7th Supreme People’s Assembly

Awarded, Order of Kim Il-sung

1986: Elected, Member, CC KWP

Deputy, 8th SPA

Commanding officer, 820th Tank Corps

1989: Promoted, Colonel-General, KPA

1990: Deputy, 9th SPA

1992: Promoted, General, KPA

1995: Commanding officer, Pyongyang Defense Command

Member, Central Military Commission, KWP

1997: Promoted, Vice Marshal, KPA

1998: Deputy, 10th SPA

2003: Deputy, 11th SPA

See also:

Chong, Bong-uk (editor).  A Handbook on North Korea (Seoul: Naewoe Press, November 1998) p.82

“Abbreviated Profiles of 200 DPRK Figures,” SINDONG-A, January 1995, pp 593-608

Yonhap News Agency.  North Korea Handbook.  Armonk, NY: ME Sharpe, 2003. pp. 656; 872

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