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Digital Archive International History Declassified

Biographies

Cho Man-sik

James E. Hoare

Cho Man-sik was a christian nationalist leader and strong rival of Kim Il Sung who was purged due to his opposition to the trusteeship.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHO MAN-SIK (1882?-1950?). Cho was a Christian nationalist leader who played an important part during the Japanese colonial period in the self-strengthening and anti-Japanese movements. In the early 1920s, he organized the Korean Products Promotion Society, which encouraged the use of native products. In 1945, he was nominated to the cabinet of the short-lived Korean People’s Republic, based in Seoul. He was later head of its organization in the north, the People’s Committee for North Korea, based in Pyongyang. Once the Soviet forces had established control in the north of the peninsula, Cho became head of the Five Provinces Administrative Bureau, which did not last long. In November 1945, Cho founded the Korean Democratic Party. While he at first worked with the Soviet forces, his opposition to trusteeship and his religious background made him increasingly unpopular with them. As a result, he was purged in early 1946. His dismissal was the decisive step in ending the independence of the smaller parties in the North. There is no record of when he died, but it is widely assumed that he was killed at the beginning of the Korean War in 1950.

All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher. (Historical Dictionary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, by James E. Hoare, published by RLPG Books, appears by permission of the author and publisher).