Jang Sung Taek and Kim Kyung Hee

It would be good to talk now about how Jang Sung Taek got married to Kim Kyung Hee, since they met at Kim Il Sung University while I was the president there.

Jang Sung Taek and Kim Kyung Hee were political economy students. Jang Sung Taek was not a particularly good student, but as a member of the arts society he was a talented accordion player, singer and dancer. Above all, he was sensible and shrewd.

I don’t know when it started, but I began to hear rumors about the two going out. Sometime later, the rumor reached Kim Il Sung’s ears. He immediately ordered an investigation into Jang Sung Taek’s background. As a result, he found that there was something wrong on Jang’s father’s side.

Since Kim Il Sung was firmly excluding people from different political backgrounds from power at the time, he became angry and ordered his daughter to immediately sever relations with Jang.

Kim Young Ju, Kim’s brother, explained the situation to me and told me to prevent them from meeting each other. I had witnessed lots of couples who wanted to see each other even more when forced to break up, so I just pretended to follow his orders. Sometimes when I was given an order to find Jang Sung Taek at his home, I had no choice but to go to his sister’s house which was where he lived. However, if I were told that he wasn’t home, I didn’t ask or even try to find out why.

One day, Kim Kyung Hee visited me at my office to protest, asking why I was interfering in her love life. I had always thought she was just a young girl, but that incident taught me that she was very strong and intelligent. So, I met her uncle, Kim Young Ju, and talked to him about her. Kim Young Ju, shaking his head, said that Kim Kyung Hee was so strong and firm that even her brother, Kim Jong Il, couldn’t control her.

However, when Kim Il Sung found out that, far from breaking up, the two were hanging out with each other even more, he ordered Kim Young Ju to expel Jang from Kim Il Sung University and send him to an economics college in Wonsan. At that, I couldn’t protect Jang Sung Taek any longer, so I just gave him some books I highly valued and encouraged him to study hard.

I never doubted that they were going to get back together one day and, just as I had thought, the two did finally marry. This prompted my family to get closer to Jang Sung Taek and Kim Kyung Hee.

Jang Sung Taek often had my son Kyung Mo over at his house, and when I was preparing debates for the 5th Party Congress he brought snacks to my office and stayed up all night with me to transcribe my writings.

Both of Jang Sung Taek’s two brothers were also competent and clever. His eldest brother was a military commander and the second worked for the Political Committee of the Army.