Born Mar. 17, 1894, in the province of Cholla-pukto. Korean political figure and historian.
The son of a peasant, Paek Nam-un graduated from the Commercial Institute in Tokyo. From 1924 to 1938 he taught economics at the Yenghi College in Seoul. In the 1930’s he was one of the initiators of the study of Korean history on the basis of Marxist methodology, and in this period he published his A Socioeconomic History of Korea and A Socioeconomic History of Feudal Korea. Paek Nam-un was persecuted by the Japanese colonial authorities for his beliefs and imprisoned from 1938 to 1941.
After the liberation of Korea in 1945, Paek Nam-un began an active political career. He became chairman of the Central Committee (CC) of the New People’s Party of South Korea, deputy chairman of the CC of the South Korean Workers Party, and chairman of the CC of the Democratic National United Front of South Korea. In 1947 he moved to North Korea. In 1948 he was elected a deputy, and subsequently a member of the Presidium, of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (PDRK). He became an active member of the Academy of Sciences of the PDRK in 1953, and from 1956 to 1961 served as its president. In 1961 he became a member of the CC of the Korean Workers Party. He was made a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1958.
M. N. PAK