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Kim Jong-Il Recordings Reveal Angst He Likely Shares With Son

Image: Kim Jong-Il Recordings Reveal Angst He Likely Shares With Son

Murals of the late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il decorate a street in Pyongyang. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)
 

By    |   Wednesday, 02 Nov 2016 10:20 AM

Kim Jong-Il secret recordings, made by filmmakers who escaped North Korea back in  1986 and the source of a new documentary, reveal a high level of insecurity that he may have passed to his son and the current Dear Leader, Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Il led North Korea from 1994, when his father Kim Il Sung died, to 2011 when he died and was succeeded by Kim Jong Un.

One thing for certain, film buff Kim Jong-Il was frustrated with North Korea's propaganda and film production, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The secret recordings were made by South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee and her former husband, director Shin Sang-ok, who had been kidnapped by North Korea in the late 1970s to make films for Kim.

Choi was kidnapped in Hong Kong in 1978 and Shin was nabbed when he went to search for her. Kim forced them to make films for North Korea, 17 in all, and they eventually won the leader's trust. They sought asylum at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna in 1986.

Their documentary, "The Lovers and the Despot," is up for the ABC News Video Source Award at the 2016 International Documentary Association Awards. The nominations were announced Tuesday, according to The Wrap.

"This was kind of a wild story," said David Straub, a North Korea who worked for the U.S. government at the time, per the Times. "My boss questioned me about how credible this (the tapes) was. Presumably, we had our Korean native speakers, psychological experts and linguists analyze the tapes, and the U.S. government presumably judged them to be credible."

In one of the tapes, according to CNN, Kim reportedly apologizes to the couple for the kidnapping and promises them money and resources for the film industry, while complaining about the quality of the movies his country has been producing.

"Why do all of our films have the same ideological plots? There is nothing new about them," Kim said. "We don't have any films that get into film festivals. But in South Korea, they have better technology. They are like college students; we are just in nursery school. People here are so close minded."

Greg Scarlatoiu, of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, told CNN that he believes the tapes revealed that Kim was insecure about many things, including movies, and possibly passed those insecurities on to his son.

"Just like his father before, this leader of North Korea must suffer from a complex of inferiority as well," Scarlatoiu told CNN. "The insecurity was surely something that Kim Jong Un inherited."

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Kim Jong-Il secret recordings, made by filmmakers who escaped North Korea back in 1986 and the source of a new documentary, reveal a high level of insecurity that he may have passed to his son and the current Dear Leader, Kim Jong Un.
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2016-20-02
Wednesday, 02 Nov 2016 10:20 AM
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