NAM IL (1913-1976). A soldier and negotiator, Nam II was one of the few Soviet Koreans to survive the various purges by which Kim Il Sung consolidated his hold on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Nam's family members were Korean emigrants who settled in Russia following the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910, and Nam was born there. He spoke Russian and Chinese as well as Korean. He trained at Smolensk Military Academy and was commissioned in the Soviet Red Army. Some sources say that he fought at Stalingrad and in the relief of Warsaw during World War II. He first went to Korea in 1945 with the Soviet occupation forces and seems to have quickly attached himself to Kim Il Sung, to whom he remained loyal for the rest of his life. He was chief of staff during the first year of the Korean War and became head of the joint Korean/Chinese delegation during the negotiations from July 1951 until the signing of the Armistice Agreement in July 1953. He then became minister of foreign affairs. In this role, he led the DPRK delegation to the 1954 Geneva Conference. He remained foreign minister until 1959 and was concurrently a vice premier from 1957. He was a vice premier until his death in 1976, but he also held a variety of other posts, including chairman of the State Construction Commission and chairman of the Light Industry Commission.
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