Profiles of minister-nominees: Kim Byung-kwan, Defense
Published : 2013-02-13 20:43
Updated : 2013-02-13 20:43
Kim, 65, is former deputy commander of the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command and an expert on the Korea-U.S. military alliance.
He established a firm relationship with Burwell Bell, then the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, and continued smooth military cooperation between the two countries despite the difference in diplomatic stance toward North Korea and difficulties in the process of signing the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
A native of Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province, Kim entered Seoul National University to major in chemical engineering, but dropped out of the school to attend Korea Military Academy the following year. Kim entered the academy at the top of his class and also graduated summa cum laude.
He is known as an enthusiastic reader of “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu and has been praised as a creative strategist. Insiders say Kim has been expressing his views on defense reform and strategies for future wars on the Korean Peninsula.