The Info List - Taewonsu

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Taewŏnsu (literally grand marshal, usually translated as generalissimo) is the highest possible military rank of North Korea and is intended to be an honorific title for Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
and Kim Jong-il. The rank is senior to that of wonsu (marshal). The title also exists in Chinese military history as dàyuánshuài (same Sino-Korean characters 大元帥), and was briefly taken by Sun Yat-Sen.[1][2]

Shoulder boards for the rank of taewŏnsu (grand marshal).


1 History 2 Rank comparison 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

History[edit] The rank of taewŏnsu was created by a joint decision of the Central Committee and Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea, the National Defense Commission
National Defense Commission
and the Central People′s Committee in April 1992 to honor Kim Il-sung
Kim Il-sung
on his 80th birthday. In February 2012, his son and successor Kim Jong-il
Kim Jong-il
was awarded the title posthumously on the occasion of his official 70th birthday.[3][4] The insignia for taewŏnsu is similar to wonsu but with an added crest worn beneath the shoulder board's large marshal star (and an added crest added to the parade uniform's marshal star worn below the collar), below the Emblem of North Korea. The rank insignia is based on the now obsolete rank generalissimus of the Soviet Union. If translated, the full rank is "grand marshal of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea" literally and "generalissimo of the DPRK" in the usual translation. Rank comparison[edit] According to rank comparison charts of the United States Forces Korea (USFK), taewŏnsu is equivalent to a "seven-star general", with the junior ranks of wonsu and chasu listed as six and five stars respectively.[5] The rank is frequently referred to in U.S. military publications as "grand marshal", comparable to the rank of general of the armies although that is normally considered a six-star rank. European military texts rate the rank equivalent to a generalissimo. The South Korean armed forces have never made an attempt to declare an equivalent to the wonsu ranks of North Korea, and indeed often deride these ranks as having been created so as to "outrank" the military leaders of other nations, rather than for any necessary purpose of military administration. Even so, the holders of these ranks have commanded one of the largest military forces in the Pan-Asian theater therefore giving some credence to their existence.[6] See also[edit] Other pronunciations of the characters 大元帥

Da Yuan Shuai
Da Yuan Shuai
in Chinese Dai-Gensui, the Japanese equivalent

元帥, a rank lower than Taewonsu

in Korean Yuan Shuai, the original Chinese title Gensui, the Japanese equivalent


^ The People's Liberation Army as organization: reference volume v 1.0 - Volume 1 - Page 30 James C. Mulvenon, Andrew N. D. Yang, Center for Asia-Pacific Policy (Rand Corporation) - 2002 "Rank Categories - Ranks 1. Generalissimo
(dayuanshuai) 2. Marshal (yuanshuai) 3. General Grade (jiangguan).. " ^ China this century - Page 169 Rafe De Crespigny - 1992 "In 1917 Sun Yatsen took for a time the title dayuanshuai, which basically means 'commander-in-chief ; though it is a general term rather than a military rank, it was translated as " ^ James Fleming Broken Border - Page 22 2009 "President Kim Jong Il is a man of many titles: Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army, Commander of the Armed Forces, Taewŏnsu (a seven–star general), Chairman of the National Defense Committee, General Secretary,..." ^ Armstrong, Charles: "The Role and Influence of Ideology". In Kyung-Ae Park, Scott Snyder (ed.) North Korea
North Korea
in Transition: Politics, Economy, and Society 2012 "Kim Jong Il... and on April 20th, 1992, he was named “Marshal”(Wonsu). Kim Il Sung had been named “Generalissimo” (Taewonsu) .." ^ USFK Comparative Ranks Chart Publication (2006) ^ U.S. 7th Fleet Sharem Intelligence Brief, published 13 Dec 2007

External links[edit]

Image of Kim Il Sung in uniform of Dae Wonsu Image of Kim Jong Il wonsu and Kim Il Sung taewŏnsu shoulder/collar insignia and crests

v t e

Highest military ranks

General officer Flag officer Air officer

Imperator Marshal of Italy Generalissimo Generalissimus of the Soviet Union Supreme Allied Commander Admiral of the Navy General of the Armies General of the Air Force Generalfeldmarschall Mareşal Marshal of the air force Marshal of the Soviet Union Marshal of the Russian Federation Mushir Magister militum Spahbed Ispahsalar Beylerbey Bojni Vojvoda Chom Thap Thai Constable of France Domestic of the Schools Grand Domestic Shōgun Dux bellorum Grand marshal Hetman Jenderal besar Polemarch Reichsmarschall Federal General of Switzerland Sardar Serasker Autokrator First marshal of the empire Da yuan shuai Dai-gensui Taewonsu Yuan shuai Wonsu Marshal of Yugoslavia

v t e

Star officer grades

General officer Flag officer Air officer

By star ranks

Six-star rank
Six-star rank
(proposed) Five-star rank Four-star rank Three-star rank Two-star rank One-star rank

By titles

Generalissimo Generalissimus of the Soviet Union Supreme Allied Commander Admiral of the Navy General of the Armies Generalfeldmarschall Field marshal Mareşal Marshal of the air force Marshal of the Russian Federation Marshal of the Soviet Union Mushir Caudillo Magister militum Spahbed Ispahsalar Beylerbey Constable of France Grand Domestic Dux bellorum Grand marshal Hetman Jenderal besar Reichsmarschall Sardar Serasker Strategos autokrator First marshal of the empire Dai-gensui Taewonsu Voivoda Wonsu Yuan Shuai Da yuan shuai Mar