[imText1]In an absolute Suryeong totalitarian society such as North Korea, the Syreong’s personal character and nature have great importance. It is more so in the given situation of North Korea’s “Mafia Style Absolutist Dictatorship,” where the society ignores the rule of law and state system while its destiny only determined by one person regardless of even socialist principles.
Kim Jong Il prefers to act completely in complete and avoids appearing in the public scenes. The common people have no way to find out about Kim Jong Il’s psychology and personality. Even if anyone close to him noticed anything negative about Kim Jong Il, a wrong word ever spoken can cause his “disappearance.”
Fortunately, many people who spent significant amount of time with Kim Jong Il such as his relatives, tutor of his children, personal cook, high rank officials made out from North Korea and provided with their testimonies. Examining their testimonies, we are able to discover more about Kim Jong Il’s personality and psychology.
One of the most prominent characteristics of Kim Jong Il repeatedly testified the defectors is that Kim Jong Il is impatient and capricious. Sung Hye Rang, Kim Jong Il’s sister-in-law and the tutor Kim Jong Nam, his son, said, “Kim Jong Il is a very nice person when he is in good mood, but when he is in bad mood, he gets so furious that the windows shake.”
Fujimoto Kenji, once Kim Jong Il’s personal cook said, “Usually he treats cadres friendly but when he gets angry he make them stand and yell at them.”
Lee Young Kuk, one of Kim Jong Il’s former bodyguards describes Kim Jong Il as, “he was impatient and drank at lot of alcohol due to the family problems when he was young, That is why he has habit of completing work abruptly and in hurry.”
Kim Jong Il’s Relationships with Women, Still Too Many Women
Kim Jong Il’s has complicated woman relationship. Those officially known as having given birth to Kim Jong Il’s children are Sung Hye Lim, Kim Young Suk, and Koh Young Hee, and apart from them, it is known that Kim Jong Il took women from Mansudae Art Group, wife of an ambassador, pleasure groups, and whoever earned his favor.
Song Bong Sung, the former director of the North Korea clearance team in National Intelligence Service, said, “Compare to former kings or dictators in other countries, we cannot say he has many children, but apart from three women he lives with, he has many other he contacts. Even if he was a dictator, his personal relations with women are over the limit.”
Song believes Kim Jong Il’s obsession with women has much to do with genetic element, from his father Kim Il Sung. Kim Il Sung had a son even at the age of seventy with his nurse, and Kim Jong Il seems to be following the his father’s footsteps.
As the second prominent character of Kim Jong Il of which Song describes is that he will take the women he is attracted to by all possible means. He made Sung Hye Lim, the sister-in-law of his friend Lee Jong Hyuk (the vice president of Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, North Korea) divorce her husband, and the wife of one of the current ambassadors. His actions are far from moral norms. The third character of Kim Jong Il is that he is very passionate and reveals symptom of sexual perversion.
The experts believe the biggest influence to formation of Kim Jong Il’s personality was his biological mother, Kim Jung Suk’s death. Kim Jong Il was seven years old at the time. Doubts raised about her sudden death, sudden appearance of a stepmother, Kim Sung Ae, power struggle and fear of losing power of his father must have all shaped his personality in one way or the other. In his childhood, he was very protective of his sister Kim Kyung Hee while he called his stepmother “aunt,” expressing his feeling of distance.
There is no evidence of Kim Sung Ae’s unequal or mean treatment of Kim Jong Il. Actually it is said that Kim Sung Ae was in a position to beg for Kim Jong Il’s acceptance. However, Kim Jong Il’s longing for his mother, rejection of his stepmother, fear of losing his father, indirect threat of power struggle have all contributed to his personality making.
In the result, his mother’s death seems to have formed mistrust, deprivation, hatred, enmity, jealousy, aggression in him. Once he gained power, Kim Jong Il completely segregated Kim Sung Ae and her family, which seems to be an expression of his childhood dissatisfaction toward her.
Pleasure Group, Secret Party, and Sexual Perversion
Song Bong Sun said Kim Jong Il’s relationships with women are exceptional in the sense it shows sexual perversion. He makes women take off their clothes and the cadres to dance with them naked, which reveals his symptom.
Let’s look closer into Kim Jong Il’s personality.
Hwang Jang Yop, the former International Secretary of the North Korean Worker’s Party, said, “Kim Il Sung gave impression that he maintained dictatorship for the political benefits, but Kim Jong Il gives impression that he enjoys pleasure of dictatorship.” Kim Jong Il does not trust anyone, even his closest people, and doubts more of the higher rank officials.
Kim Il Sung did not have a separate department to keep watch on the Central Party workers, but Kim Jong Il established “headquarter party committee” so the workers keep watch and criticize each other. There are also separate departments providing structural and ideological guidance and conducting classified information work so the supervision is done in double or triple level.
Hwang Jang Yop testifies that when he returned as the main secretary of the party in 1979, he no longer felt pride of holding one of the highest positions in North Korea, only felt burdened of working at the forefront of the dictatorship worrying about getting hurt while he was pressured and tense every moment.
Kim Jong Il does not like people keeping a good relationship thus made sure they keep watch and criticize each other and during the criticism and more fiercely he criticize the other of fealty to the party and the ideology, one is better awarded.
Family Centrism, Regionalism as Remnant of Communions
Kim Jong Il also opposes to family centrism and calls regionalism remnants of communions, thus opposes to all the alumni and friendly meetings. Even academic alliances or any personal connections are not be made. Such extreme egocentrism and obsession seem to have influenced the completion of Suryeong absolutist regime.
Hwang Jang Yop said, “Surely Kim Jong Il dictatorship is harsh and his ability as a dictator is excellent. With this excellent ability of dictatorship he destroyed his father, the North Korean society and many naïve people following him.
“In the future, with this excellent dictator ability he destroyed thousands of South Koreans and foreigners and it worries that he will bring an unprecedented disaster to our brethren of seventy million.”