Kou Zhun was a North Song politician and poet, and he was also a Jingshi. In 1004, during Emperor Zhenzong's reign, the Liao forces from the North initialized a major invasion and came surprisingly close to the Song capital. When other officials such as Wang Qinruo suggested that the emperor desert the city and find a new capital in Southern China, Kou Zhun suggested the emperor come to the frontline to boost the Song army's morale. Emperor Zhenzong listened to Kou Zhun's suggestion, and the Song forces successfully resisted the Liao invasion, ending in the Chanyuan Treaty.

Kou Zhun was a great speaker and had a reputation of offering criticism as he saw fit. Once, Emperor Taizong got offended and decided to leave, but Kou Zhun grabbed his robe and forced him to sit down and finish listening. Emperor Taizong remarked, "Having Kou Zhun is like Emperor Taizong of Tang having Wei Zheng."

A straight and direct official like Kou Zhun, who was very experienced and could judge cases and knew strategy, wasn't he a great choice for cabinet.

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