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AFP: South Korean who made movies for North Korean dictator, dies aged 80

By Indiewire | Indiewire April 12, 2006 at 10:24AM

South Korean film director Shin Sang-Ok, who made movies for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, has died here aged 80, hospital officials said. Shin said in his memoirs that he was abducted by North Korean agents in Hong Kong in 1978, six months after his actress wife, Choi Un-Hee, was taken to the Stalinist country on the orders of Kim. Choi was at the height of her powers as a screen idol at the time and was known to have admirers in North Korea, including Kim, the heir-apparent to supreme leader Kim Il-Sung. The director said Kim, who took over as dictator following the death of his father in 1994, gave him a luxury villa, a Mercedes Benz and three million dollars every year to make movies. He directed seven North Korean films during his eight years in the country. Agence France Presse reports.
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South Korean film director Shin Sang-Ok, who made movies for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il, has died here aged 80, hospital officials said. Shin said in his memoirs that he was abducted by North Korean agents in Hong Kong in 1978, six months after his actress wife, Choi Un-Hee, was taken to the Stalinist country on the orders of Kim. Choi was at the height of her powers as a screen idol at the time and was known to have admirers in North Korea, including Kim, the heir-apparent to supreme leader Kim Il-Sung. The director said Kim, who took over as dictator following the death of his father in 1994, gave him a luxury villa, a Mercedes Benz and three million dollars every year to make movies. He directed seven North Korean films during his eight years in the country. Agence France Presse reports.