Kim Ung [LtGen CG I-Corps NKPA]


Lieutenant General Kim Ung 0102usmcops0

Among the corps commanders, there was none more able than Lieutenant General Kim Ung. About 40 years old at the outbreak of war, he had graduated from the Kumchon Commercial School in Korea and the Whampoa Military Academy in China. As an officer of the 8th Route Army, he won a reputation for daring in 1939 by tossing hand grenades into a conference of Japanese generals at Peiping and escaping after inflicting numerous casualties. Returning to Korea in 1946, he started as a regimental commander and made a relatively slow rise because of his CCF background. But after lining up with the Soviet faction in the army, he was promoted to the command of the 1st Division in 1948 and of I Corps during the invasion.


The I Corps, which had captured Sŏul in the early days of the war, had direct charge under the Front Headquarters for the western half of the enemy arc around the Perimeter, from Waegwan south to the Korea Strait. Lt. Gen. Kim Ung, a spectacular soldier, commanded the I Corps. Kim had gone from Korea to the Whampoa Military Academy and eventually served with the Communist 8th Route Army in North China where reportedly he became a brigade or division commander. He was generally considered the ablest of the North Korean field commanders. He was energetic and harsh, feared rather than loved by his subordinates. His I Corps headquarters was at Chon-ju. [21-49]