Transcript: Ep. 1 - Kim Il Sung | Mar 04, 2019

A clip shows images of Korean dictator Kim Il Sung's funeral.

A caption reads "Pyongyang, North Korea. July 8, 1994."

People on the streets mourn the loss of their leader.

The narrator says IN NORTH KOREA,
A NATION IS IN MOURNING.
THEIR DICTATOR FOR THE PAST
48 YEARS, KIM IL SUNG IS DEAD.

A man says FOR THE NORTH KOREANS,
KIM IL SUNG WAS A LIVING GOD.
AND THESE PEOPLE WERE BEING TOLD
THAT GOD WAS DEAD.

A woman with short hair says THEY WERE SHOCKED.
BECAUSE THEY HAD BEEN RAISED
TO THINK OF HIM AS A GOD,
THEY DIDN'T KNOW
THAT HE WAS EVEN MORTAL.

The narrator says BUT THE MYTH OF KIM'S DIVINITY
CONCEALED A DARKER TRUTH.
BEHIND THE FACADE WAS A BRUTAL
RULER, WHOSE REGIME
IMPRISONED, KILLED, AND TORTURED
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS.

A woman with long brown hair says KIM IL SUNG CREATED AN
ATMOSPHERE OF FEAR AND PARANOIA.
AND EVERYBODY KNEW THAT THEY
NEEDED TO GET IN LINE.
[SPEAKING
KOREAN]

A woman says Ï always warned my children: 'Watch your words. If you criticize him by accident we will all die.'"

The short-haired woman says HE NEEDED TO HAVE ABSOLUTE
CONTROL OVER THE PEOPLE.
THAT MEANS CONTROLLING
WHAT THEY THINK,
WHERE THEY WORK, WHAT THEY EAT.

The long-haired woman says THERE'S NO COUNTRY IN THE WORLD
THAT EXERCISES
MORE CONTROL AND POWER OVER
ITS CITIZENS THAN NORTH KOREA.

The narrator says IRONICALLY, THE MAN
WHO TURNED HIS COUNTRY
INTO A KIND OF PRISON,
SPENT MUCH OF HIS YOUTH FIGHTING
FOR KOREAN INDEPENDENCE.

Clips show images of the dictator waving in a balcony at a military parade.

[LOUD CHEERING]

The narrator says HOW DID A MAN
WHO RISKED HIS LIFE
FOR THE FREEDOM OF HIS PEOPLE
BECOME THEIR OPPRESSOR
AND BUILD ONE OF THE MOST
CONTROLLED SOCIETIES ON EARTH?

The opening sequence rolls.

A clip shows a collage of pictures of world famous dictators.

A woman says DICTATORSHIPS HAVE HAD
AN INCREDIBLE IMPACT
IN THE PAST CENTURY.
THESE DICTATORS ENDED UP
LEARNING FROM ONE ANOTHER.

Written expressions appear on screen as different people mention them.

A man says THEY'RE ALL DIFFERENT BUT
MANY USE THE SAME TACTICS.

Another woman says THE USE OF TERROR.

Another man says PROPAGANDA.

Another woman says CONTROL THE ELITES.
CREATE AN ENEMY.
CULT OF PERSONALITY.

Another man says USE OF VIOLENCE...
THESE ARE TOOLS THAT DICTATORS
USE TO STAY IN POWER.

The title of the show appears against a black and white world map with those expressions written across. It reads "The dictator's playbook."

The name of the episode reads "Kim Il Sung."

In perfect formation, kids march and sing at an auditorium as a marching band plays.

[DRUMROLLS and LOUD APPLAUSE]
[SINGING IN KOREAN]

The narrator says THE DICTATORSHIP KIM IL SUNG
CREATED IN NORTH KOREA
STILL SURVIVES,
NEARLY 25 YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH.

A caption reads "Charles K. Armstrong. Historian, Columbia university."

Charles is in his fifties, clean-shaven and with short straight gray hair. He wears a gray suit, a blue shirt and a patterned blue tie.

He says KIM CREATED THE SYSTEM WITH
HIMSELF AT THE APEX OF POWER
THAT HAS LASTED NOW
FOR ALMOST 70 YEARS.
IT'S BEEN LED
BY THE SAME FAMILY NOW
ONTO THE 3RD GENERATION,
AND THAT'S REALLY AN
EXTRAORDINARY RECORD.

Clips shows a military parade with perfect formation.

[STEADY BEAT
OF BOOTS HITTING THE PAVEMENT]

The narrator says TODAY'S NORTH KOREA,
RULED BY KIM JONG UN,
REMAINS A TIGHTLY CONTROLLED
TOTALITARIAN STATE.

The caption changes to "Jean H. Lee. Journalist."

Jean is in her forties, with short straight black hair and wears an orange blouse and a pearl necklace.

She says IF YOU STUDY KIM JONG UN'S
IDEOLOGY,
HIS STRATEGY, HIS POLICY,
IT IS VERY SIMILAR TO THAT OF
HIS GRANDFATHER KIM IL SUNG,
BUT WITH A MORE MODERN VENT.
THIS IS REALLY ONE
OF THE MOST ISOLATED
AND STRICTLY-REGULATED SOCIETIES
IN THE WORLD.
THE SEEDS OF
THIS EXTREME DICTATORSHIP
WERE SOWN
MORE THAN 100 YEARS AGO,
IN A TIME OF VIOLENT TURMOIL
FOR KOREA.
1910, JAPAN COLONIZES
THE COUNTRY.
JAPAN'S GROWING EMPIRE WANTS
KOREA AS AN ACCESS POINT
TO STRIKE AT ITS RIVALS,
CHINA AND RUSSIA.
FOR KOREANS, DECADES OF
SUFFERING ARE ABOUT TO BEGIN.

The caption changes to "Michael Madden. Director, North Korean Leadership Watch."

Michael is in his forties, with short wavy brown hair, and wears glasses, a striped blue shirt, a gray blazer and a patterned burgundy tie.

Michael says THE JAPANESE REALLY PUT IN
AN ETHNIC CLEANSING PROGRAM.
THEY CHANGED THE NAMES
OF KOREAN CITIZENS,
AND THEY BASICALLY TRIED TO
ERADICATE THE KOREAN LANGUAGE.

The narrator says THOSE WHO RESISTED ARE
TORTURED AND EXECUTED.
THIS IS THE WORLD KIM IL SUNG
IS BORN INTO IN 1912,
2 YEARS AFTER
THE OCCUPATION BEGAN.
IN A VILLAGE JUST OUTSIDE
THE KOREAN CITY OF PYONGYANG
HIS PARENTS NAME HIM
KIM SONG JU.

Jean says THIS IS A KID
WHO WAS NAMED SONG-JU,
WHICH MEANS PILLAR
OF THE COUNTRY,
AND SO HE WAS EXPECTED BY HIS
PARENTS TO DO SOMETHING AMAZING.

The narrator says KIM'S MOTHER AND FATHER
INTRODUCE HIM
TO CHRISTIANITY AS A YOUNG BOY.

Bruce says PYONGYANG WAS THE CENTER
OF CHRISTIANITY IN KOREA.
IT WAS KNOWN AS
"THE JERUSALEM OF THE EAST."

Bruce is in his fifties, with short wavy white hair and a moustache. He wears glasses, a blue shirt and a navy blue blazer.

The narrator says KIM LEARNS THE ORGAN AND PLAYS
IT IN HIS PARENTS' CHURCH.
BUT JUST BEFORE
HIS 7TH BIRTHDAY,
HIS INNOCENCE IS SHATTERED
WHEN HIS FATHER IS ARRESTED
FOR PROTESTING
AGAINST THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION.

The caption changes to "Bruce Cumings. Historian, University of Chicago."

Bruce says HIS FATHER WAS ARRESTED
DURING THE 1919 INDEPENDENCE
DEMONSTRATIONS
AGAINST THE JAPANESE.

The narrator says KIM'S FATHER IS INVOLVED IN
THE LOCAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT
AGAINST JAPANESE OPPRESSION.
HE AND OTHER PROTESTORS ARE
JAILED AND TREATED UNMERCIFULLY.

Jean says KIM WAS TAKEN TO SEE
HIS FATHER IN PRISON.
AND THAT IMAGE OF HIS FATHER,
BEATEN, BRUISED, TORTURED,
COMPLETELY EMACIATED,
WAS SEARED INTO HIS MEMORY.

The narrator says WATCHING HIS FATHER SUFFER
INSTILLS IN KIM
A HATRED OF THE JAPANESE.
AT 19, HE COMMITS HIS LIFE
TO HIS PARENTS' CAUSE.
HE JOINS
A COMMUNIST GUERILLA GROUP,
BATTLING THE JAPANESE ARMY
IN THE MOUNTAINS
NEAR THE KOREAN-CHINESE BORDER.

Bruce says IT'S A VERY MOUNTAINOUS AREA,
EXTREMELY HOT IN THE SUMMER,
AND BONE-CHILLING COLD
IN THE WINTER,
DOWN TO 40 DEGREES BELOW ZERO,
THE ABSOLUTE
WORST CIRCUMSTANCES.
[LOUD and RAPID
GUNFIRE and EXPLOSIONS]

The narrator says KIM'S SUCCESS IN RAIDS AGAINST
JAPANESE STRONGHOLDS
ESTABLISHES HIS REPUTATION
AS A HEROIC FREEDOM FIGHTER.

Bruce says HE WAS A TALL MAN FOR A KOREAN,
OVER 6 FEET TALL,
STRONG, SMART, ILLUSIVE,
A REALLY REMARKABLE GUERILLA.
[LOUD EXPLOSIONS]

The narrator says AT AGE 24, KIM'S RISEN
THROUGH THE RANKS,
LEADING HUNDREDS OF MEN
IN CRIPPLING RAIDS
ON JAPANESE POSITIONS.
AS HIS FAME GROWS, HE BECOMES
AN ALMOST LEGENDARY FIGURE.
BY THE LATE 1930S, KIM IL SUNG
IS THE MOST WANTED
GUERILLA LEADER
FIGHTING THE JAPANESE.
THEY SEND SPECIAL UNITS OF MEN
INTO THE MOUNTAINS
TO HUNT HIM DOWN.

Bruce says IN 1938 AND '39, THE JAPANESE
THREW TENS OF THOUSANDS
OF SOLDIERS
AGAINST KIM IL SUNG
AND OTHER GUERILLAS.
THESE WERE PITCHED BATTLES
ON A MAJOR SCALE.

The narrator says THE JAPANESE KILLED THOUSANDS
OF GUERILLAS, BUT NOT KIM.
KIM'S FELLOW REVOLUTIONARIES
GIVE HIM THE NAME KIM IL SUNG,
MEANING BECOME THE SUN.

Michael says AND THAT'S THE NAME THAT STUCK.
WITHOUT BEING A GUERILLA,
THERE IS NO KIM IL SUNG.
HE GOT PRESSED IN
THE SOUTHERN PART OF KOREA,
EUROPE, CHINA, RUSSIA, I MEAN
IT WAS ALL OVER THE PLACE.

The narrator says IN THE DECADES TO COME, KIM'S
LEGEND AS A FREEDOM FIGHTER
WILL GIVE RISE TO A DEFINING
FEATURE OF HIS DICTATORSHIP.

The caption changes to "Cult of personality."

The caption changes to "Natasha Ezrow. Political Scientist, University of Essex."

Natasha is in her forties, with long straight brown hair and wears a black V-neck sweater.

Natasha says THE CULT OF PERSONALITY
IS THE IDEA
THAT THE LEADER POSSESSES
SUPERHUMAN QUALITIES,
THAT THE LEADER IS A SAVIOR
TO THE NATION.
DICTATORS BUILD
PERSONALITY CULTS
BECAUSE IT ENABLES THEM
TO MESMERIZE THE PUBLIC,
TO ENSURE THAT
THE PUBLIC ADORES THEM.
KIM IL SUNG WAS ABLE TO DO IT
ON A LEVEL
THAT WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

The narrator says IN TIME, KIM'S DAYS AS A
GUERILLA LEADER WILL PROVIDE
THE CORNERSTONE OF THE CULT OF
PERSONALITY BUILT AROUND HIM.

Bruce says THAT WAS AN ENORMOUS ELEMENT OF
HIS PRESTIGE AND LEGITIMACY
WHEN HE STARTED OUT,
AND IT REMAINS
THE CORE LEGITIMACY
OF THE REGIME.

The narrator says BUT IN THE SPRING OF 1941, KIM'S
DICTATORSHIP IS A LONG WAY OFF.
THE GUERILLA MOVEMENT HAS BEEN
CRUSHED BY THE JAPANESE.
KIM AND HIS GUERILLA FIGHTERS
ARE FORCED TO FLEE.
THEY TAKE REFUGE
IN THE LAST SAFE PLACE LEFT...
THE SOVIET UNION.

An animated map shows the route to Vladivosstok, in the Soviet Union.

The narrator says THE SOVIET ARMY EMBRACES KIM FOR
HIS RESISTANCE TO THE JAPANESE.
THEY MAKE HIM CAPTAIN
AND PUT HIM IN CHARGE
OF SOME 160 KOREAN GUERILLAS.
KIM AND HIS GUERILLAS TRAIN FOR
ACTION AGAINST THE JAPANESE.
BUT IN JUNE 1941, GERMANY
INVADES THE SOVIET UNION
FORCING THE COUNTRY TO DEFEND
IT'S WESTERN BORDERS.
KIM FINDS HIMSELF SIDELINED
IN THE SOVIET FAR EAST.
WHILE WAITING FOR ACTION,
HE CLOSELY OBSERVES
THEIR IRON-FISTED LEADER.

Michael says KIM IL SUNG WAS A STUDENT
OF JOSEPH STALIN.
HE HAD IMMENSE RESPECT
FOR JOSEPH STALIN.

The narrator says KIM HAS BEGUN A COMMON STATE
IN THE DEVELOPMENT
OF MANY DICTATORS.

The caption changes to "Learning from the masters."

Natasha says DICTATORS LEARN FROM EACH OTHER
ALL THE TIME ABOUT
HOW THEY RISE TO POWER, ABOUT
HOW TO DEAL WITH OPPONENTS,
ABOUT HOW YOU MAINTAIN A
DICTATORSHIP FOR DECADES ON END.
SO FOR MANY DICTATORS, JOSEPH
STALIN IS ACTUALLY A ROLE MODEL.

The narrator says STALIN USED HIS OWN
CULT OF PERSONALITY
TO HELP TRANSFORM
THE SOVIET UNION
INTO AN INDUSTRIAL
AND MILITARY POWERHOUSE.

A clip shows images of one of Stalin's speeches.

[SPEAKING IN RUSSIAN]

Natasha says HE CULTIVATED AN IMAGE THAT HE
WAS THE FATHER OF THE NATION,
THAT HE WAS A STRONG LEADER.
BUT HE ALSO WAS REALLY ADEPT AT
USING FEAR TO INSURE LOYALTY.
SO FOR ANYONE THAT WANTED
TO LEARN FROM STALIN,
THEY LEARNED QUITE A BIT ABOUT
THE LEVEL OF BRUTALITY
THAT WAS NEEDED, PARTICULARLY
IN THE BEGINNING OF THE REGIME
TO ENSURE MASS COMPLIANCE.

The narrator says MORE THAN 500 MILES FROM KOREA,
KIM SEEMS LIGHT-YEARS AWAY
FROM USING SUCH TACTICS.
BUT WITH WORLD WAR 2
COMING TO AN END,
THINGS ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE.

Clips from World War 2 rolls.

[EXTREMELY LOUD EXPLOSIONS]

The narrator says WHILE KIM IS SIDELINED
IN THE SOVIET FAR EAST,
JOSEPH STALIN CRUSHES
HITLER'S ARMIES IN GERMANY.
ON AUGUST 8TH 1945,
STALIN DECLARES WAR
ON KIM'S SWORN ENEMY,
THE JAPANESE.
ALONG WITH THEIR ALLY,
THE UNITED STATES,
THE SOVIETS DRIVE THE JAPANESE
FROM KOREA.
KIM'S DREAM
SINCE HE WAS 7 YEARS OLD,
TO SEE A KOREA FREE
FROM JAPANESE OCCUPIERS,
HAS FINALLY BEEN REALIZED.
BUT THERE'S A COMPLICATION.

Jean says THE SOVIETS CAME IN
FROM THE NORTH
AND THE AMERICANS CAME IN
FROM THE SOUTH,
AND THEY AGREED TO DIVIDE THE
PENINSULA AT THE 38TH PARALLEL.

An animated map shows the division of the peninsula.

The narrator says KOREA IS NOW DIVIDED AND
CONTROLLED BY 2 FOREIGN POWERS.
IN THE NORTH, THE SOVIETS
NEED KOREANS THEY CAN TRUST
TO HELP STABILIZE
THEIR OCCUPATION.
THEY RECRUIT KIM
AND SEND HIM HOME TO KOREA.
HIS YEARS OF EXILE
ARE FINALLY OVER.
HE WAS BROUGHT TO PYONGYANG
AND INSTALLED BY THE SOVIETS
AS THEIR MAN IN PYONGYANG.
HE WAS SOMEBODY THAT THEY SAW
COULD REALLY CARRY OUT
SOME OF THE SOVIET OBJECTIVES.

The narrator says THE SOVIETS APPOINT KIM
TO A KEY POSITION,
DEPUTY COMMANDANT IN PYONGYANG.
HE ACTS AS A LIAISON BETWEEN
SOVIET OCCUPYING FORCES
AND LOCAL KOREANS.
IT'S HIS FIRST TASTE
OF POLITICAL POWER,
AND HIS AMBITION KICKS IN.
HE BEGINS TO ENVISION HIMSELF
AS THE ONE MAN
WHO COULD BRING NORTH AND SOUTH
KOREA BACK TOGETHER AGAIN,
AND SETS HIS SIGHTS ON THE
LEADERSHIP OF THE NATION.

Jean says BUT WHAT MOTIVATED HIM,
I MEAN, IT WAS
PERSONAL AMBITION PLUS THE
MISSION TO BUILD A COUNTRY.
HE WAS MOTIVATED BY A DESIRE
TO MAKE THIS COUNTRY INTACT.

The narrator says BUT IF KIM IS GOING TO BECOME
THE RULER
OF SOVIET-CONTROLLED KOREA,
HE'LL HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM
HE'S THE MAN FOR THE JOB.

Michael says KIM IL SUNG'S GREATEST STRENGTH
WAS HIS CHARISMA
AND HIS INTERPERSONAL SKILLS.
I THINK THAT HELPED HIM
ENORMOUSLY.

The narrator says KIM GETS A CHANCE TO USE THESE
SKILLS IN THE FALL OF 1945
WHEN RESENTMENT AGAINST
THE SOVIETS BEGINS TO BUILD.
MANY KOREANS FEEL THEY'VE TRADED
ONE OCCUPIER FOR ANOTHER.
THEY WANT A KOREA FREE
FROM OUTSIDE INTERFERENCE.

Charles says WHEN KOREA WAS OCCUPIED
BY THE SOVIET UNION,
THERE WAS A LOT OF TURMOIL,
A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY
ABOUT THE POLITICAL DIRECTION
OF THE COUNTRY.
THE SOVIETS PUT COMMUNISTS
IN CONTROL
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE
RESENTED THAT.
THERE CAME TO BE QUITE A BIT OF
ANTI-COMMUNIST SENTIMENT,
PARTICULARLY AMONG
A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE.

The narrator says NOVEMBER 23RD 1945,
IN SINUIJU, A CITY
ON THE BORDER WITH CHINA,
SOVIET-LED FORCES CRACKED DOWN
ON AN ANTI-COMMUNIST
STUDENT PROTEST.

Michael says SINUIJU IS A MESS, HUNDREDS
OF PEOPLE WERE INJURED
AND THERE'S ESTIMATES
THAT 100 STUDENTS DIED.

The narrator says STUDENT PROTESTS
AGAINST THE VIOLENCE
ERUPT ACROSS NORTH KOREA.
THE SOVIETS SEND KIM TO SINUIJU
IN AN ATTEMPT TO RESTORE ORDER.
IT'S THE OPPORTUNITY
HE'S BEEN WAITING FOR.

Charles says KIM WAS ABLE TO CALM THINGS DOWN
AND TO SAY
THE COMMUNISTS
ARE NOT YOUR ENEMY,
WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER
TO CREATE
A SYSTEM FOR EVERYONE,
AND IT REALLY HELPED.

Bruce says HE WAS A NATURAL HANDS-ON
LEADER, AND I THINK
MAYBE AT SINUIJU THAT WAS
FIRST DEMONSTRATED.

The narrator says PROMINENT SOVIETS ARE IMPRESSED
BY KIM'S SKILL
IN DIFFUSING THE UPRISING.
[LOUD APPLAUSE]
THEY PUT HIM IN CHARGE
OF THE PUPPET GOVERNMENT
THEY'VE INSTALLED
IN NORTH KOREA.

Bruce says IN FEBRUARY 1946,
HE BECAME HEAD OF THE FIRST
NATIONAL GOVERNMENT
AND IT'S REALLY FROM THAT TIME
ON THAT WE CAN SEE
KIM IL SUNG'S DOMINANCE
OF THE NORTH KOREAN SYSTEM.

The narrator says KIM THE GUERILLA FOUGHT
FOR HIS COUNTRY'S LIBERATION
FOR NEARLY 2 DECADES;
KIM THE POLITICIAN
HAS TAKEN JUST 4 MONTHS
TO BECOME ITS RULER.
BUT HE'S STILL
UNDER THE SOVIET UMBRELLA.
TO GOVERN THE COUNTRY
ON HIS OWN,
HE NEEDS TO SHOW THE SOVIETS
HE CAN RUN
A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNIST COUNTRY
THAT'S LOYAL TO THEM.
HE CAN ONLY DO THAT IF HE HAS
THE SUPPORT OF HIS PEOPLE.
KIM TURNS TO A TACTIC FAMILIAR
TO MANY WOULD-BE DICTATORS.

The caption changes to "Gaining consent. 'The carrot and stick.'"

Natasha says WHEN DICTATORS FIRST TAKE POWER,
THEY OFTEN TRY TO GET CONSENT
BY APPEALING TO AS MANY PEOPLE
AS POSSIBLE,
TRYING TO PLEASE THE MASSES,
TRYING TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE
LOYAL TO THEM.
THEY WOULDN'T WANT TO INCITE
SOME SORT OF REVOLUTION.
THE FIRST WAY IS THAT
THEY TRY TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC
WITH SOME KIND OF GOOD
AND SERVICE,
LIKE ACCESS TO EDUCATION,
ACCESS TO WATER, ELECTRICITY.
THEY MAY MAKE GAS MUCH CHEAPER,
THEY MAY BE LOWERING TAXES.
THEY WANT TO ENSURE
THAT THE MASSES FEEL
THAT THERE'S A NEED
FOR THIS DICTATORSHIP.

The narrator says TO WIN HIS PEOPLE OVER,
KIM MAKES A DRAMATIC OFFER.

Bruce says KIM IL SUNG ANNOUNCED
A LAND REFORM.
PEASANTS WERE GIVEN LAND FREE,
THEY GOT 3 CHUNGBO,
WHICH IS A FAIRLY SMALL FARM,
BUT ONE THAT WOULD
SUSTAIN A FAMILY.

The narrator says FOR THE FIRST TIME IN CENTURIES,
FARMERS CAN CALL THE LAND
THEIR OWN.

Jean says GIVING THEM CONTROL
OVER THEIR LAND,
GIVING THEM A SENSE
OF OWNERSHIP AGAIN
AFTER HUNDREDS OF YEARS OF
FEUDAL RULE, AND THEN
THESE BRUTAL 35 YEARS OF
JAPANESE OCCUPATION, GAVE
THE KOREANS A SENSE OF PRIDE
AND A VISION OF A NEW KOREA.

The narrator says KIM GIVES 2.4 MILLION
ACRES OF LAND
TO MORE THAN 700,000 FARMERS
AND THEIR FAMILIES.

Charles says THAT'S A
HUGE BOOST TO KIM'S POPULARITY.
NOW YOU HAVE MAYBE 70 percent OF THE
KOREAN POPULATION
WHICH HAS DIRECTLY, MATERIALLY,
BENEFITED FROM THE POLICIES
OF THE NEW REGIME.
SO THAT WAS
A VERY EFFECTIVE TOOL
OF GETTING POPULAR CONSENT
FOR KIM.

The narrator says BUT KIM STILL NEEDS CONSENT
FROM A GROUP EVEN MORE IMPORTANT
THAN THE MASSES.

Natasha says THE ELITES ARE THE BIGGEST
THREAT TO ANY DICTATOR.
THEY HAVE TO MAKE SURE
THAT THIS ELITE GROUP
IS UNIFIED AND INCREDIBLY LOYAL.
IF THEY CAN'T DO THAT, THEY ARE
AT RISK OF BEING OVERTHROWN.

The narrator says AFTER USING THE CARROT
WITH THE MASSES,
KIM USES THE STICK
WITH THE ELITES...
HIGH RANKING COMMUNISTS AND
OTHER RIVALS HE DOESN'T TRUST.

Bruce says KIM WAS VERY SHREWD
IN DEALING WITH HIS ENEMIES.
HE SENT THEM TO SOUTH KOREA...
PEOPLE WHO HAD
SERVED THE JAPANESE,
MILITARY OFFICERS,
AND OTHER KOREAN COMMUNISTS...
ALL POTENTIAL RIVALS.

The narrator says OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS, KIM
TAKES ONE MORE STEP
TO SHOW THE SOVIETS HE'S CAPABLE
OF RULING THE COUNTRY
WITHOUT THEIR HELP...
BY PROVING HE CAN DEFEND IT.
HE BUILDS FROM A CORE GROUP
OF SOME 200 OF HIS
OLD GUERRILLA COMRADES
AND AMASSES AN ARMY
OF OVER 60,000 SOLDIERS.
[KIM SPEAKING KOREAN]

A clip shows Kim addressing his soldiers. He says "Today, for the first time in history, the North Koreans now proudly have our own army."

The narrator says BY 1948, THE SOVIETS
ARE CONVINCED KIM
HAS A FIRM HOLD ON THE COUNTRY.
THEY BEGIN TO PULL OUT.
FOR THE FIRST TIME
IN OVER 4 DECADES,
NORTH KOREA IS FREE
FROM FOREIGN CONTROL...
AND KIM IS
THE UNDISPUTED LEADER.

A clip shows a crowd gathering at a public place and cheering for their leader.

The narrator says HE FINALLY HAS THE POWER
TO GO FOR HIS ULTIMATE GOAL,
ONE SHARED BY MANY
IN HIS COUNTRY...
UNIFYING NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA.

Charles says KIM WANTED THE PENINSULA UNIFIED
AS IT HAD BEEN
FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS BEFORE,
UNDER A SINGLE GOVERNMENT.

Bruce says KIM IL SUNG SAW HIMSELF
AS THE GREAT UNIFIER.
A UNIFIED KOREA
WITHOUT FOREIGN TROOPS.

The narrator says IN THE SUMMER OF 1949,
KIM SEES HIS CHANCE.
THE U.S. HAS PULLED OUT MOST
OF ITS TROOPS FROM SOUTH KOREA.
ITS BORDERS ARE NOW DEFENDED BY
60,000 SOUTH KOREAN SOLDIERS.
WHEN KIM DOUBLES HIS ARMY
TO 120,000 MEN,
THE SOUTH KOREANS ARE
OUTNUMBERED 2 TO 1.

At a speech, Kim says "The American imperialists have split our nation and are trying to colonize our lands. Our nation is in danger."

[KIM SPEAKS KOREAN]
[EXTREMELY LOUD EXPLOSIONS
AND MACHINE-GUN FIRE]

The narrator says ONE YEAR LATER,
KIM INVADES SOUTH KOREA.
[EXTREMELY LOUD EXPLOSIONS
AND GUNFIRE]

The narrator says KIM'S ARMY STEAMROLLS THE
OUTNUMBERED SOUTH KOREAN FORCES
AND PINS THEM INTO A SMALL
CORNER OF THE COUNTRY.
HE BELIEVES HIS DREAM
OF A UNIFIED KOREA
IS ABOUT TO COME TRUE...
BUT KIM'S MADE
A MAJOR MISCALCULATION.

Bruce says WHAT HE DID NOT SEEM
TO UNDERSTAND WAS THAT
SOUTH KOREA HAD BECOME IMPORTANT
TO THE UNITED STATES.

The narrator says WORRIED ABOUT THE GLOBAL SPREAD
OF COMMUNISM,
U.S. PRESIDENT HARRY TRUMAN
HAS APPEALED TO THE UN
FOR SUPPORT
IN DEFENDING SOUTH KOREA.

Truman says IF THE UNITED NATIONS YIELDS
TO THE FORCES OF AGGRESSION,
NO NATION WILL BE SAFE
OR SECURE.

The narrator says SEPTEMBER, 1950.

[EXTREMELY LOUD EXPLOSIONS]

The narrator says WITH KIM ON THE VERGE
OF VICTORY, A UN FORCE
LED BY AMERICAN TROOPS CARRIES
OUT A DARING COUNTERATTACK...
AND PUSHES
KIM'S ARMY NORTH...
KIM'S SHATTERED FORCES RETREAT
ACROSS THE 38TH PARALLEL
INTO NORTH KOREA.

Charles says THE UN FORCES
UNDER AMERICAN LEADERSHIP
CAME VERY CLOSE
TO WIPING OUT KIM'S REGIME.

The narrator says KIM'S DECISION TO MAKE WAR
ON THE KOREAN PENINSULA
HAS PUSHED HIS COUNTRY
TO THE BRINK OF DISASTER.
OCTOBER 1ST, 1950.
KIM IL SUNG'S ARMY IS TRAPPED
IN A SMALL CORNER OF NORTH KOREA
BY U.S. LED UN FORCES.
DESPERATE FOR HELP, KIM
CONVINCES CHINA'S LEADER,
CHAIRMAN MAO, TO SUPPORT
HIS COMMUNIST CAUSE.

[EXTREMELY LOUD EXPLOSIONS]

The narrator says THREE WEEKS LATER.
OVER 250,000
RED ARMY TROOPS
CROSS THE YALU RIVER
INTO NORTH KOREA AND DRIVE THE U.S. BACK
TOWARD THE 38TH PARALLEL.
IT NOT ONLY SAVES KIM'S FORCES
FROM ANNIHILATION...
IT RESURRECTS HIS DREAM
OF REUNIFYING KOREA.
BUT THE U.S. STRIKES BACK
WITH A BRUTAL NEW TACTIC.

Bruce says THE U.S. BEGAN JUST BASICALLY
BOMBING EVERYTHING: TARGETING SCHOOLS,
HOSPITALS...
IT WAS JUST A BRUTAL,
SCORCHED-EARTH AIR CAMPAIGN.

Michael says PYONGYANG WAS LEVELED.
HAMHUNG, LEVEL TO THE GROUND.
WONSAN, LEVEL TO THE GROUND.
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE DIED
OVERNIGHT.
AND THIS IS DEVASTATING.

Charles says MORE TONNAGE OF BOMBS WAS
DROPPED ON NORTH KOREA,
THAN IN ALL OF THE PACIFIC WAR
BETWEEN THE U.S. AND JAPAN
DURING WORLD WAR 2.

The narrator says THE U.S. BOMBING EXACTS A HEAVY
TOLL ON NORTH KOREAN CIVILIANS.
20 percent OF THE NATION,
NEARLY 2 MILLION PEOPLE,
LOSE THEIR LIVES.

Bruce says IT WAS THE MOST UNRESTRAINED
U.S. AIR FORCE BOMBING CAMPAIGN
IN THE 20TH CENTURY.

The narrator says IT'S A DISASTER
FOR THE COUNTRY... AND FOR KIM.

Bruce says HE WAS IN
A VERY DEEP PICKLE, BECAUSE
HE'S THE ONE WHO INVADED THE
SOUTH WITH A LOT OF PROMISES,
AND IT BROUGHT A HOLOCAUST
UPON HIS COUNTRY.

The narrator says JULY, 1953.
ALMOST 3 YEARS AFTER IT BEGAN,
AND IN THE WAKE
OF THE U.S. BOMBING,
THE WAR ENDS IN A CEASE-FIRE.
ITS EXHAUSTED COMBATANTS END UP
WHERE THEY BEGAN,
STRADDLING THE 38TH PARALLEL.
IT'S AN ABJECT FAILURE FOR KIM.
HIS DREAM OF UNIFYING THE
COUNTRY HAS BEEN SQUASHED.
NORTH KOREA HAS BEEN BOMBED
INTO SUBMISSION
WITH A FIFTH
OF ITS POPULATION DEAD.

Charles says AND THERE WERE MANY AROUND HIM
WHO CRITICIZED HIM FOR THAT.
HE WAS IN A VERY WEAK POSITRON
AT THAT POINT
BECAUSE OF HIS RECKLESS ACTION.

The narrator says BUT KIM HAS NO INTENTION
OF CEDING HIS LEADERSHIP.
HE BEGINS TO TAKE A SERIES
OF STEPS THAT WILL SECURE
HIS HOLD ON THE COUNTRY
FOR YEARS TO COME.
ONE OF THE FIRST IS
A CLASSIC MOVE
FROM THE DICTATOR'S PLAYBOOK.

The caption changes to "Crushing the enemy."

Natasha says FOR ANY DICTATORSHIP, THEY HAVE
TO USE FORCE BECAUSE THEY
NEED TO PROJECT THIS IMAGE OF
POWER, THIS IMAGE OF CONTROL.
THIS IMAGE THAT IF ANYONE TRIES
TO THREATEN THE REGIME,
THEY WILL BE DEALT WITH.

The narrator says KIM IMMEDIATELY SHIFTS
THE BLAME FOR THE WAR
FROM HIMSELF TO HIS RIVALS,
BY PUBLICLY DENOUNCING
12 SENIOR COMMUNISTS
WHO HAD CRITICIZED
HIS HANDLING OF IT.

Charles says KIM'S RIVALS WERE ACCUSED
OF COLLABORATING WITH
THE AMERICANS TO SELL OUT KOREA.
AND THEY SIMPLY ADMITTED
TO THE CHARGES, AND THEN
SOME WENT INTO EXILE,
OTHERS WERE EXECUTED.

Jean says KIM IL SUNG USED PURGES,
EXECUTIONS, TO SEND A MESSAGE
TO THE ELITES AND TO THE PEOPLE,
THAT IF THEY OPPOSE HIM, THAT
THEY WON'T SURVIVE.

The narrator says LIKE STALIN BEFORE HIM,
KIM TAKES OUT SUSPECTED
OPPONENTS...
2500 IN JUST 4 YEARS.

Bruce says HE JUST CASHIERED HIS ENEMIES.
WHAT WE CAN LEARN ABOUT KIM
FROM THAT PARTICULAR PERIOD IS
THAT HE'S A VICIOUS, RUTHLESS
LEADER WHO BROOKS NO OPPOSITION.

The narrator says ALTHOUGH HIS MOST DANGEROUS
POLITICAL ENEMIES
ARE DEALT WITH, KIM MUST
STILL CONVINCE THE MASSES
HE'S NOT TO BLAME FOR
THEIR SUFFERING DURING THE WAR.
HE RELIES ON A TACTIC
THAT WILL BECOME
A TRADEMARK OF HIS REGIME.

The caption changes to "Propaganda."

Natasha says PROPAGANDA IS THE SPREAD
OF INFORMATION
THAT BENEFITS THE REGIME.
DICTATORSHIPS NEED PROPAGANDA TO
BE ABLE TO CONTROL
PEOPLE'S THOUGHTS.
THEY WANT TO ENSURE THAT THE
MASSES ARE LOYAL TO THE REGIME.

The narrator says KIM USES A RELENTLESS STREAM
OF PROPAGANDA TO CREATE
AN ALTERNATE REALITY WHERE
THE U.S. IS AN IMMINENT THREAT
TO THE SAFETY OF HIS PEOPLE.

A series of posters with illustrations depicting American violence over the Korean people appears.

Charles says THAT BOMBING OF NORTH KOREA
HAS BEEN A MEMORY
KEPT ALIVE TO DEMONSTRATE
HOW SAVAGE THE AMERICANS ARE.

The caption changes to "Kim Kil Sun. North Korean Defector."

Kim has long brown hair in a low bun and wears a burgundy sweater.

She says "What I was taught, what I heard until my ears started to bleed from the second I opened my eyes was that our biggest enemy is the United States."

[SPEAKING KOREAN]

The narrator says IT'S A REINVENTION OF HISTORY...
BUT KIM UNDERSTANDS
THAT REPEATING A LIE CAN
EVENTUALLY MAKE IT SEEM TRUE.
[KIM KIL SUN SPEAKS KOREAN]

She says "From grade one to university, the story we learn is always the same. The US started the war. The US started it. Then the US asked for a ceasefire agreement. So we learn, it's a war that we won."

The narrator says KIM'S PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN
CONTINUALLY REMINDS THE PEOPLE
THAT HE'S THE FATHER
OF THE NATION.
ONE HUNDRED MILLION BOOKS
ARE PUBLISHED
TO CELEBRATE HIS GREATNESS.
BUT IN ORDER TO FULLY SEED
HIS CULT OF PERSONALITY,
KIM NEEDS TO GO OUT
AMONG THE PEOPLE.
HE TRAVELS ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO
SPREAD HIS MESSAGE IN PERSON.

Charles says KIM REALLY WAS
A POWERFUL PERSONALITY,
AND SOMEONE
WHO WAS ABLE TO CONNECT
WITH THE ORDINARY PERSON.

Bruce says I COMPARE HIM TO MUHAMMAD ALI
IN THE SENSE
THAT HE WOULD WADE INTO A CROWD
AS IF EVERYBODY LOVED HIM
AND PRESS THE FLESH.
IT WAS A) PART OF HIS
MEGALOMANIA,
B) PART OF DEMONSTRATING
TO THE KOREAN PEOPLE
THAT HE WAS A HANDS-ON LEADER.
HE JUST BATHED IN THE ADULATION
OF HIS OWN PEOPLE
AND SEEMED TO THINK IT WAS
ENTIRELY DESERVED.

The narrator says BY THE LATE 1950'S,
KIM'S CULT OF PERSONALITY
IS FLOURISHING.
BUT HIS PUBLIC CONFIDENCE
CONTRASTS
WITH A GROWING PARANOIA
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.

The caption changes to "Fathali Moghaffam. Professor of Psychology, Georgetown University."

Fathali is in his sixties, with short wavy white hair and wears glasses, a blue blazer, a gingham blue shirt and a printed bow tie.

Fathali says PARANOIA IS A VERY DOMINANT
TRAIT IN DICTATORS,
IT'S A TENDENCY THAT LEADS
TO PROJECTION
OF THEIR OWN
INSECURITIES AND SUSPICIONS.
AND THEIR MOTIVATION BECOMES ONE
OF CONTROLLING EVERY ASPECT
OF SOCIETY.

The narrator says IN HIS DRIVE FOR CONTROL,
KIM ATTEMPTS TO COMPLETELY
INSULATE THE COUNTRY
FROM OUTSIDE INFLUENCES.
HE LOCKS DOWN ALL OF ITS MEDIA
AND INFORMATION SOURCES.

Charles says BOTH INFORMATION INTERNALLY
AND ALSO INFORMATION GOING
IN AND OUT OF THE COUNTRY.
TO KEEP THE PEOPLE AWARE OF
ONLY THE KINDS OF INFORMATION
THAT THE REGIME
WANTS THEM TO KNOW.

Natasha says THEY ARE ACTUALLY FORCED
TO LISTEN TO THE RADIO,
WHICH IS ONLY ONE CHANNEL
ALL DAY LONG.
THEY CAN TURN IT DOWN,
BUT THEY CAN NOT CHANGE IT.
SO ALL DAY LONG, THEY'RE HEARING
HOW GREAT KIM IL SUNG IS.

The narrator says KIM'S OBSESSION WITH HIS
PEOPLES' LOYALTY INTENSIFIES.
HE KEEPS THEM IN LINE WITH
A MANDATORY WEEKLY PROGRAM
HE CALLS,
"SELF-CRITICISM SESSIONS."
[KIM KIL SUN SPEAKS KOREAN]

Kim says "Everyone in the group has to criticize themselves. Then they order us to criticize each other ferociously so that we can grow as people. Those who won't criticise others are humiliated, called lazy, bad people."

Natasha says EVERYBODY WAS SPYING
ON ONE ANOTHER.
AND EVERYBODY KNEW THAT THEY
COULDN'T LET
ANY SIGN OF DISLOYALTY
BE VISIBLE TO, TO ANYONE.

The narrator says BY THE EARLY 1960S,
AFTER NEARLY TWO DECADES
IN POWER,
KIM'S GRIP ON THE NATION
HAS TIGHTENED,
BUT HE STILL SEES CONSPIRACIES
AGAINST HIM EVERYWHERE.
TO QUASH DISSENT,
THE REGIME MAKES
FEAR AND INSECURITY
A PART OF DAILY LIFE.

The caption changes to "Creating a culture of fear."

Jean says A DICTATORSHIP NEEDS TO HAVE
A CULTURE OF FEAR
IN ORDER TO ENFORCE A SENSE
OF LOYALTY TO THE LEADER.
FEAR OF PUNISHMENT IS
ALWAYS GOING TO BE
A PART OF A REGIME LIKE THIS.

The caption changes to "Park Hyun Sook. North Korean Defector."

Park has short straight black air and wears a striped black and white shirt and a brown jacket.

She says "We were watching each other all the time. When I was in grade school I was glad to report other people's behavior and felt so proud of myself. But when I grew up I was afraid. I was always afraid and living in fear."

[SPEAKING KOREAN]
[LOUD CHEERING]

The narrator says BY THE MID-60S,
KIM IL SUNG HAS CREATED
A CULTURE OF FEAR
THAT ENVELOPS
12 MILLION NORTH KOREANS.
HIS PARADES DEMONSTRATE
HIS POWER OVER THE PEOPLE.
BUT IT'S NOT ENOUGH.
KIM ENFORCES THEIR LOYALTY
THROUGH THE SECRET POLICE,
NEARLY 50,000 STRONG,
WHO MONITOR THEIR DAILY LIVES.

Natasha says THE SECRET POLICE IS IMPORTANT
TO THE DICTATORSHIP BECAUSE
THEY NEED TO KNOW WHO THE
OPPONENTS ARE TO THE REGIME.
THEY NEED TO GET ACCESS TO
REALLY GOOD INFORMATION.

The narrator says TO IDENTIFY THREATS,
THE SECRET POLICE HELPS CARRY
OUT A HIGHLY INVASIVE PLAN.
AROUND THE COUNTRY AGENTS GATHER
PERSONAL INFORMATION
ON EVERY INDIVIDUAL.
THE DATA IS USED TO REINFORCE
A RIGID CASTE SYSTEM,
ONE WHICH RANKS EVERYONE INTO
3 CATEGORIES BASED ON LOYALTY.

Michael says WITHIN THE 3 CATEGORIES,
THERE ARE
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 75 AND 95
SUBDIVISIONS OF THE POPULATION.
THIS DETERMINES WHAT KIND
OF WORK YOU'RE GOING TO DO,
WHAT KIND OF EDUCATION
YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE,
WHERE YOU'RE GOING TO LIVE.

Charles says ONLY THE
MOST POLITICALLY RELIABLE PEOPLE
ARE ALLOWED TO LIVE IN
THE CAPITAL OF PYONGYANG.
AND THE MOST UNRELIABLE PEOPLE
ARE OUT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE.

The narrator says THE CASTE SYSTEM WEEDS OUT
ENEMIES OF THE STATE.
THE WORST OF
THE PERCEIVED OFFENDERS
ARE SENTENCED TO GULAGS.

The caption changes to "Kang Cheol Hwan. North Korean Defector."

Kang is in his sixties, has short black hair and wears a blue suit and a blue shirt.

He says "They came and took our entire family to the concentration camp. My grandparents, my father, mother and me. I was nine years old. It was a large camp with around 50,000 people. My grandfather was taken away and executed. I did manual labor that was physically unbearable. You live like an animal."

[SPEAKING KOREAN]

Charles says ONE OF THE HARSH REALITIES
OF NORTH KOREAN DETENTION
FACILITIES IS,
THEY WILL BE SUBJECTED TO
TORTURE.
SEXUAL ABUSE,
FORCED MEDICAL PROCEDURES.
THEY KEEP THE PRISONERS
AT A NUTRITIONAL MINIMUM
SO THEY DON'T DIE BECAUSE THEY
WANT TO PROLONG THE SUFFERING.
[SPEAKING KOREAN[

Kang says "They sometimes held public executions. They made us watch. It was the first time I saw someone die from hanging. They threw rocks at their faces until they were covered in blood. Crows came at night and were pecking the body."

The narrator says DURING THE 1960S,
KIM'S REGIME EXECUTES MORE THAN
6000 POLITICAL ENEMIES.
AS THE END OF THE DECADE NEARS,
A CULTURE OF FEAR HAS PERMEATED
ALL CORNERS OF THE COUNTRY.
THE REGIME NOW CONTROLS EVEN
THE MOST BASIC ASPECTS
OF DAILY LIFE.

[KIM KIL SUN SPEAKING KOREAN]

Kim says "The basic routine is this: eight hours of work, eight hours of study, eight hours of sleep. And every day we were forced to do two hours of indoctrination studies. You have to speak and write about the leaders ideology. This is what Kim Il Sung has decided."

The narrator says THE GOVERNMENT EVEN DICTATES
HOW MUCH EACH PERSON EATS,
RATIONING CONSUMPTION THROUGH
ITS FOOD DISTRIBUTION POLICY.
[SPEAKING KOREAN]

Kim Kil Sun says "Adults: 700 grams per day; Students: 600 grams; Younger students: 500 grams; Seniors at home: 300 grams. 300 grams of food. They only feed you to the point where you still feel slightly hungry. They say, if you eat until you are full, you won't want to improve yourself. This is the law."

[LOUD CHEERING]

The narrator says KIM'S INDOCTRINATION
OF HIS PEOPLE
REACHES ITS PINNACLE
IN MASS RALLIES
WHERE THEY HONOR HIM
AS THEIR SUPREME LEADER.

Natasha says THE EXTENT OF THE
CULT OF PERSONALITY
IS SOMETHING LIKE
WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE.
IT BORDERS ON FANATICISM,
IT'S COMPLETE SOCIALIZATION
OF EVERYBODY.
EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS
REGIME IS INDOCTRINATED.

The narrator says INDOCTRINATION AND FEAR
HELP EXPLAIN
WHY ORDINARY KOREANS
SUPPORT THE REGIME.
BUT THERE ARE OTHER FORCES
AT WORK, INCLUDING HISTORY.
FOR THE PAST 600 YEARS
NORTH KOREANS
HAVE NEVER KNOWN
REAL POLITICAL FREEDOM.
THEY WERE EITHER RULED BY
ABSOLUTE KOREAN MONARCHS
OR THE JAPANESE EMPEROR.
[SPEAKING
KOREAN]

Kim Kill Sun says "Our people never breathed in the air of free society. Only those who have experienced freedom appreciate its value."

The narrator says KIM ALSO EXPLOITS
AN INTRINSIC VALUE OF
TRADITIONAL KOREAN SOCIETY.

Jean says HE TAPPED INTO A
VERY KOREAN TRAIT, WHICH IS
CONFORMISM...
UNDERSTANDING WHERE YOUR PLACE
IN SOCIETY IS
AND TRYING NOT TO STRAY OUTSIDE
THAT PLACE
THAT'S DICTATED FOR YOU.
SO KOREANS DON'T WANT TO GO
OUTSIDE THE GROUP,
THEY WANT TO DO
WHAT THE GROUP IS DOING.

The narrator says BY THE EARLY 1970S,
KIM'S CULT OF PERSONALITY
IN NORTH KOREA IS UNSHAKEABLE.
IN 25 YEARS HE'S GONE
FROM A SOVIET PUPPET
TO THE UNASSAILABLE LEADER.
BUT KIM'S STILL HAUNTED
BY ONE QUESTION...
HOW CAN HE ENSURE HIS REGIME
CONTINUES AFTER HIS DEATH?

Charles says KIM KNOWS
HE'S NOT GOING TO LIVE FOREVER.
HE SAW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE
SOVIET UNION AFTER STALIN DIED,
CONFUSION IN THE POLITICAL
LEADERSHIP, TOOK THE COUNTRY
IN WHAT KIM THOUGHT WAS
THE WRONG DIRECTION.
AND HE DIDN'T WANT TO HAVE
THAT HAPPEN IN NORTH KOREA.

The narrator says HE SETTLES ON A RARE AND
UNCONVENTIONAL PLAN
FOR A COMMUNIST DICTATOR
APPROACHING THE END OF HIS RULE.

Charles says HE LOOKED TO HIS FAMILY.
AFTER ALL, WHO DO YOU TRUST MORE
THAN THE PEOPLE WITHIN
YOUR IMMEDIATE FAMILY?

The narrator says KIM BELIEVES SUCCESSION IS
THE ONLY WAY
TO GUARANTEE HIS REGIME'S
SURVIVAL WHEN HE'S GONE,
EVEN THOUGH
IT'S NEVER BEEN ATTEMPTED
IN THE COMMUNIST WORLD BEFORE.
HE TURNS TO HIS ELDEST SON,
29-YEAR-OLD KIM JONG IL,
WHO'S BEEN SERVING AS HEAD
OF THE REGIME'S PROPAGANDA
AND AGITATION DEPARTMENT.

Charles says KIM IL SUNG REALLY GROOMS
HIS SON TO BE SUCCESSOR.
HE PLACES HIM IN INCREASINGLY
IMPORTANT POSITIONS
WITHIN THE PARTY STRUCTURE.

Michael says ONE OF THE KEY PROJECTS
THAT KIM JONG IL DEVELOPS
IS VENERATING HIS FATHER.
TURNING HIS FATHER
INTO THE GOD FIGURE.

The narrator says IT'S ALL PART OF KIM IL SUNG'S
SUCCESSION PLAN.
TO IMPLEMENT IT, HE DEIFIES
HIMSELF AND HIS SON,
AND IN THE PROCESS,
RAISES HIS CULT OF PERSONALITY
TO AN ENTIRELY NEW LEVEL.

Natasha says THE KIM REGIME WAS ABLE TO
CREATE A COMPLETE RELIGION
AND MYTH AROUND THE LEADERSHIP,
THAT THEY WERE DIVINE.
AND THE MYTH STARTED FROM
THE WAY THAT THEY PORTRAYED
KIM'S CHILDHOOD.
THAT HE WAS THIS IDYLLIC
CHARACTER, AND AS HE GREW UP,
THAT HE SINGLE-HANDEDLY
DEFEATED THE JAPANESE.

The narrator says KIM JONG IL'S LIFE IS
VENERATED AS WELL.
EVEN THOUGH HE WAS BORN
ON A RUSSIAN MILITARY BASE
DURING WORLD WAR 2, KIM'S
NEW PROPAGANDA PORTRAYS
HIS SON'S BIRTH ON THE MYSTICAL
SLOPES OF MOUNT PAEKTU.

Jean says ALL KOREANS THINK OF THAT PLACE
AS THE BIRTH
OF THE KOREAN PEOPLE.
AND SO TO SAY THAT YOU WERE
DESCENDED FROM MOUNT PAEKTU
MEANS THAT YOU'VE GOT LIKE
A GODLIKE RIGHT TO RULE.

The narrator says DURING THE 1970S,
ALONG WITH COUNTLESS PIECES
OF ART AND FILMS
GLORIFYING KIM AND HIS FAMILY,
34,000 MONUMENTS ARE
ERECTED IN THEIR NAMES.
THEY ARE NOW CONSIDERED GODS
IN NORTH KOREA.
KIM IS SATISFIED;
HIS SUCCESSION IS IN PLACE.
AND HE CAN KIND OF STEP BACK.
FROM THAT POINT ONWARD
KIM JONG IL IS REALLY DOING
A LOT OF THE DAY-TO-DAY
GOVERNING OF THE COUNTRY.

The narrator says IN THE 1980S,
WITH HIS SON BASICALLY
RUNNING THE GOVERNMENT,
KIM IL SUNG ATTENDS
TO HIS OWN NEEDS.
THE MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR SOME
260,000 DEATHS IN HIS GULAGS,
IS OBSESSED WITH PROLONGING
HIS OWN LIFE TO 120 YEARS OLD.
TO DO IT, KIM HAS SET UP THE
LONGEVITY RESEARCH INSTITUTE.
ITS ONLY MISSION IS
TO KEEP HIM ALIVE.

Michael says THEY USED TO GATHER MEN
THAT WERE OF THE SAME HEIGHT
AND WEIGHT
AND AGE AS KIM IL SUNG, TRY
MEDICAL TREATMENTS ON THEM.
15 NORTH KOREANS WERE FITTED
WITH PACEMAKERS
TO MAKE SURE THE PACEMAKERS WERE
GONNA WORK
WHEN THEY WENT TO INSTALL
THE PACEMAKER ON KIM IL SUNG.

The narrator says KIM ORDERS HIS DOCTORS
TO GIVE HIM
DOZENS OF BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS
FROM HEALTHY YOUNG MEN.
HE SPENDS HOURS
AROUND YOUNG CHILDREN,
HOPING TO ABSORB
SOME OF THEIR ENERGY.
HANDLERS POLISH HIS RICE GRAINS
SO HE DOESN'T GET A BAD ONE.
BUT NOT EVEN KIM
CAN CHEAT DEATH...
JULY 8, 1994, AT THE AGE 82,
KIM IL SUNG DIES
OF A HEART ATTACK.

Jean says SOME PEOPLE SAID
I FELT SADDER AT HIS DEATH THEN
I DID MY OWN FATHER'S DEATH.
SO IT SHOWS YOU
HOW DEEPLY ENTRENCHED
THAT SENSE OF LOYALTY WAS
TO KIM IL SUNG.

At the funeral, thousands of people cry inconsolably as a car with the coffin rides along.

The narrator says BUT THERE ARE OTHER REASONS
FOR THE PEOPLE'S TEARS.

Natasha says THEY NEEDED TO SHOW THAT
THEY WERE IN GENUINE MOURNING.
AND IF THEY DIDN'T PROVE
TO THE REGIME THAT THEY WERE
IN MOURNING ENOUGH,
THEY COULD BE ARRESTED,
THEY COULD BE TORTURED,
THEY COULD BE KILLED.

The narrator says AROUND THE WORLD, POLITICAL
EXPERTS WATCH AND WAIT,
SUSPECTING KIM'S REGIME
WILL CRUMBLE WITHOUT HIM.
IT TEETERS... BUT SURVIVES.
THE STRENGTH OF
THE DICTATORSHIP KIM FORGED
PASSES ANOTHER TEST IN 2011
WHEN IT SURVIVES
THE DEATH OF KIM JONG IL.
ONCE AGAIN, POWER IS
SUCCESSFULLY TRANSFERRED
FROM FATHER TO SON.
TODAY, UNDER KIM JONG UN,
THE REGIME HAS FORTIFIED ITSELF
THROUGH THE EMULATION
OF ITS FOUNDER.
[LOUD CHEERING and CHANTING]

Bruce says KIM JONG UN'S A CLONE
OF KIM IL SUNG.
HIS HAIRCUT IS A CLASSIC LATE
1940'S KIM IL SUNG,
THEY'VE FATTENED HIM UP
SO THAT HE,
HE LOOKS BIG,
HE LOOKS LIKE HIS GRANDFATHER.

The narrator says KIM IL SUNG'S
CULT OF PERSONALITY
HAS NEVER GONE AWAY.
HIS PRESENCE IS EVERYWHERE.

Natasha says THERE ARE SONGS, THERE ARE
ANTHEMS, THERE ARE BOOKS,
THERE ARE STORIES,
THERE ARE STATUES,
THERE ARE POSTERS EVERYWHERE...
YOU CANNOT ESCAPE IT.

The narrator says IN THE END,
KIM IL SUNG DID SOMETHING
NO OTHER COMMUNIST DICTATOR
OF THE 20TH CENTURY
HAD PULLED OFF...
HE CREATED A DYNASTY.

Jean says BY PASSING ON LEADERSHIP
OF HIS COUNTRY TO HIS SON,
HE ENGINEERED
THIS HEREDITARY SUCCESSION.
WE HAD NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE
THAT IN THE COMMUNIST WORLD.

The narrator says IRONICALLY, AFTER STRUGGLING
TO FREE HIS PEOPLE
FROM THE ABUSES
OF JAPANESE RULE,
KIM IL SUNG CREATED
A SYSTEM THAT HAS BROUGHT
EVEN MORE SUFFERING
TO HIS PEOPLE.
[SPEAKING
KOREAN]

Kang says "All throughout this process so many lives were lost."

The narrator says STILL AT ODDS WITH SOUTH KOREA
AND THE UNITED STATES,
NORTH KOREA IS NOW
A NUCLEAR STATE.

Jean says THE RAMIFICATIONS ARE
FAR MORE TERRIFYING
THEN THEY WERE
UNDER KIM IL SUNG.
NORTH KOREA NOW HAS
THE CAPABILITY
TO OBLITERATE THE REGION,
FRANKLY,
WITH THESE NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

The narrator says KIM IL SUNG'S DYNASTY HAS
OUTLASTED 12 U.S. PRESIDENTS
AND ENTERED ITS 8TH DECADE.
BUT THE QUESTION REMAINS...
HOW LONG WILL HIS CREATION...
THE WORLD'S MOST CONTROLLED
AND ISOLATED SOCIETY... LAST?

Charles says I THINK THIS REGIME CAN LAST
FOR QUITE SOME TIME TO COME.
WE CAN'T DISMISS THE POSSIBILITY
THAT THEY COULD FALL,
BUT I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD
EVER UNDERESTIMATE
HOW RESILIENT AND LONG-LASTING
THIS REGIME HAS BEEN
AND CAN BE IN THE FUTURE.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Producer, Patrick Cameron.

Director, Mark Stevenson.

Narrator, Tom Park.

Copyright 2018, Dictator Productions Inc.

Watch: Ep. 1 - Kim Il Sung