A former bodyguard revealed how the late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il can get very cruel at times that even the slightest mistake made by his own people would be severely punished if it displeased him.
In an interview with CNN Seoul, Lee Yung-Gok said he spent ten years protecting the departed North Korean leader and witnessed how the people would cower in fear in the presence of the ruthless dictator.
Lee recalled Kim Jong-il’s advisers would sometimes throw themselves behind the grass just to hide whenever they saw him coming. People are terrified of the former leader because even when he appears to be happy, he would still be rude and “could chop off their heads”, he said.
In fact, Lee added, one of the senior officials was ostracized just because he used Kim Jong-il’s ashtray and private elevator. The poor man was sent to a concentration camp where he eventually died.
The former bodyguard further narrated he saw the duality of Kim Jong-il’s personality; one who ruled with sheer brutality, but surrounded by fear. He described the “Dear Leader” as someone “who would give gold when he is happy and d***h sentence when he is not.”
But even if Kim Jong-il is a quintessential vicious ruler, Lee believes the father still paled in comparison to his own son, Kim Jung-un, who succeeded him to the throne after his d***h.
The proof of this, according to Lee, is Kim Jung-un managed to execute his own uncle who even Kim Jong-il could not k**l.
“As power was handed down to the third generation, it became crueler. Kim Jong-un has created loyalty, but it is fake and based on fear,” Lee said.
The former bodyguard defected to South Korea and is now busy with his duck farm. He said, although he already knew Kim Jong-il was cruel while he was still serving him, it was only after his defection he realized how miserable life was inside the ultra-secretive communist state.
While the dictator lives in palatial houses surrounded by beautiful women and luscious foods, North Korean citizens were forced to eat soil and grass and live in dirt-poor hamlets.
Lee tried to escape in 1994 but was caught and sent to a concentration camp before he managed to escape and cross the border towards South Korea.
He now calls Seoul his own home. He wrote a book on his experiences inside Pyongyang and wants to tell the world his story and those of others who were left behind to suffer Kim Jong-un’s savage rule.