Who was Kim Bo-hyon? Kim Bo-hyon (Korean: 김보현; Hanja: 金輔鉉; 3 October 1871 – 2 September 1955) was the father of Kim Hyong-Jik (김형직) and thus the patyternal grandfather of Kim-Il Sung, as well as the great-great grandfather of current North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.
To read about Kim Hyong-Jik click here.
Who was Kim Bo-Hyon?
Born in 1871, there is scant information about him, bar what has been provided by the North Korean state. As the paternal grandfather of Kim Il-Sung, he is the first major player of the Paektu Bloodline that we know about, as well as the first “revolutionary” of the Kim family.
Kim Bo-hyon was born on 3 October 1871 as the only son to Mangyongdae farmer Kim Ung-u (June 17, 1848-October 4, 1878), of whom there is quite literally no information about.
In his twenties, Bo-Hyon married a girl named Lee Bo-ik, 5 years his junior and had 6 children, 3 sone and 3 daughters, with the most famous being the aforementioned Kim Hyong-Jik, father of President Kim Il-Sung.
A farmer by trade he was said to wake up very early to collect manure, before going to bed very late after fulfilling his farming duties, all to provide for his family and giving him very good working class credentials.
Was Kim Bo-hyon a revolutionary?
It is claimed by North Korea that he took part in the General Sherman Incident, although this happened 5 years prior to his birth. How much this is claimed is unknown, but it is certainly claimed that his father Kim Ung-u was indeed present.
It can be assumed if this is true that he would have passed some revolutionary zeal to his son.
North Korean state media though does talk of Kim Bo-Hyon as a great statesman and patriot, with their tombs still receiving wreaths from various local and foreign organizations on the anniversary of their death.
And of course he lived through extremely strange times, starting as a farmer in and independent Korea, before Japanese occupation, the rule of his son and even the Korean War.
One can assume his later years were somewhat more comfortable than his early life.
Click the link for more info on the Mount Paektu Bloodline.
Want to travel to North Korea? You can check out our tours here.