The JoongAng Ilbo reports that North Korea’s policy decisions are likely being made by the leader’s concubine.
Kim Jong-il, leader of North Korea, is known to be recovering from a stroke and brain surgery. His condition is improving (he’s at least brushing his own teeth) but in the meantime, his longtime concubine Kim Ok is supposedly running the government- or at least, what is left of it. A Japanese Foreign Ministry official supposedly told a S. Korean official that Kim Ok is handling all the paperwork to approve the country’s major policy decisions.
Kim Ok is not just Kim Jong-il’s lover (yes, it’s true that many Koreans have the same surname Kim) but also his secretary. According to unnamed sources in the S. Korean government, this 44-year-old secretary has been living in Kim Jong-il’s house and playing the role of his de facto wife.
The JoongAng Ilbo describes Kim Ok:
Kim Ok is known to have majored in piano at the Pyongyang School of Music before working at Kim Jong-il’s secretarial office. She had remained low profile until October 2000, when Jo Myong-rok, chief of the North’s Political Bureau of the People’s Army, visited Washington as the North’s special envoy to meet then-U.S. President Bill Clinton. She was the only female in the North Korean entourage that accompanied Jo.
Not that Kim Jong-il is short of women.
His first wife (the one chosen for him by his father) was Kim Young-suk. They had a daughter. He then hooked up with Sung Hae-rim, who gave him a son (Jong-nam). His third wife, Koh Yong-hee, bore him two sons (Jong-cheol, 27 & Jong-woon, 25). These three women are known to be the three wives (though whether he was legally married to the latter two is not confirmed) but there were also a number of mistresses.
Perhaps the most scandalous rumor is that S. Korean actress Lee Young-ae (who visited the North upon the leader’s request as a S. Korean representative) was also a fling, and that she bore him a son, who is currently being raised in another country. If this rumor is true, it would not be the first time Kim Jong-il set his eyes on a South Korean actress. Previously, he kidnapped the actress Choe Eun-hee and her film director husband Shin Sang-ok, telling the husband to make films for North Korea while wooing the wife with lavish gifts. The couple, however, managed to escape from Kim’s clutches while attending a film festival in Venice.