O Chin-u

Military Person

1917 – 1995


Who was O Chin-u?

Marshal O Chin-u was a soldier and politician of North Korea. He was the Minister of Armed Forces for many years until his death in February 1995. O was the third most powerful person in North Korea, after Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il. Very little is known about him except for the fact that he served with Kim Il-sung's partisan unit and eventually rose through the ranks of the North Korean Army. He distinguished himself during the Korean War and was a trusted advisor of the North Korean leader until his death, also being his chief guard in 1945.

O Chin-u rose rapidly through military ranks: he was appointed chief of general staff of the Korean People's Air Force in 1958, vice-minister of People's Security in 1962, general in 1963, director of the KPA General Political Bureau in 1967 and Chief of General Staff in 1968. This concurred with his ascent to the top leadership of the Workers' Party of Korea, becoming Central Committee member in 1954, Political Committee member in 1966, Secretariat member in 1968 and Presidium member in 1977. Extremely close to Kim Il-sung, he is credited among the top officials who "proposed" Kim Jong-il to be Kim Il-sung's heir at a Central Committee plenum in 1974.

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Mar 8, 1917
North Hamgyong Province
  • North Korea
Feb 25, 1995

on July 23, 2013


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