In an elaborate scheme dating back to the father of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the government has blackmailed possibly hundreds of high-level visitors with female agents who later became pregnant, according to a former elite North Korean politician.
"They will do anything they need to in order to keep the regime going," Jang Jin-sung, who defected to South Korea in January 2004 and later founded the New Focus dissident website, told The Telegraph of London
He was the official poet to the North Korean government and was among the nation's elite known as "The Admitted," according to the Telegraph. He discussed the scheme — known as "the seed-bearing program" — in his recent book about the Pyongyang government, "Dear Leader."
"It doesn't matter to them if something is criminal and, to be honest, the seed-bearing program is nothing compared to what they are willing to do," Jang said.
The scheme began under Kim's father, Kim Jong-il, after efforts to capture foreign nationals and turn them into spies in the 1970s failed, he said. It targets politicians, executives — even journalists.
This is how it works, according to Jang:
"The regime mainly targets foreigners who go to Pyongyang and, over time, build up a friendship with the woman who has been assigned to them as a translator or assistant. But these women are in reality agents of the regime.
"The men don't want to believe they have been fooled," he told The Telegraph. "They want to think that it is a genuine relationship.
"Some months later, when the man has left Pyongyang, he is told that the woman has had a baby.
"These men are specifically targeted because of their value to the North," Jang said.
"Politicians are good because they have a lot of influence, wealthy businessmen can provide economic benefits and religious figures can give them money through their charities."
Journalists have been forced to write positive stories about Pyongyang, while executives have created ventures with local companies, he told The Telegraph.
The program has been active all these years, Jang said.
"There are districts in Pyongyang where the half-foreign children are kept, effectively as hostages," he said.
The children are monitored by an office of the Worker's Party's Strategic Command, Jang told the Telegraph — and all their needs are addressed by the North Korean government.
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