BBC News

 

As part of North Korea’s propaganda machine, Jang Jin-sung spent his career writing eulogies of Kim Jong-il, before growing disillusioned and fleeing to South Korea in 2004. Here he describes life as a member of the North Korean elite.

I wrote poems for the regime under a pen name, pretending I was a grass-roots poet from the South. I wrote epic poems glorifying Kim Jong-il, which were published in the main newspaper in the North.

 

I met Kim Jong-il twice. The first time, in 1999, I was overwhelmed and full of emotion. But at the same time I thought the image I had received of him – through brainwashing – was very different to how he appeared in person.

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