South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, as soon as kidnapped by North Korea, lifeless at 92

South Korean film star Choi Eun-hee, who was kidnapped by North Korean brokers within the 1970s and compelled to make propaganda flicks earlier than a daring escape, died Monday, her household mentioned. She was 92.

Choi was affected by a persistent illness earlier than her demise, Yonhap Information Company reported.

“My mom handed away when she went to hospital for kidney dialysis [Monday] afternoon,” the actress’ son, director Shin Jeong-gyun, informed the South Korean information website.

Choi started her appearing profession in 1947 and was considered one of many three most-celebrated stars in South Korea within the 1960s and 1970s. She gained such large recognition amongst film fanatics that it caught the eye of Kim Jong Il, whose father Kim Il Sung was the North Korean dictator on the time.

Kim Jong Il, an enormous movie fan who cherished Hollywood motion pictures, then ordered his brokers to kidnap the star. Choi was in Hong Kong in 1978 when North Korean brokers kidnapped her and took her to the Hermit Kingdom.

South Korean actress Choi Eun-hee, 84, speaks during a news conference in Seoul December 21, 2011. According to the local media, Choi was kidnapped to North Korea in 1978 and made 17 films there with her husband director Shin Sang-ok, who passed away in 2006. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il had wanted director Shin to work as his propagandist and for Choi to be the star. Shin and Choi escaped the North in 1986 while on a state-sponsored trip to Vienna, requesting political asylum through the U.S. embassy. They returned to South Korea in 1999.   REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji  (SOUTH KOREA - Tags: POLITICS ENTERTAINMENT) - GM1E7CL1EPP01

Choi Eun-hee’s well being deteriorated in the previous few years earlier than her demise.


Shin Sang-ok, Choi’s husband who she had lately divorced, was additionally kidnapped a few yr later whereas trying to find the actress. The couple have been compelled to make 17 motion pictures throughout their eight-year captivity, Chosun Ilbo reported. One film, “Sault,” even earned Choi a finest actress award on the Moscow Movie Competition.

One movie was primarily based on a stage play by then-leader Kim Il Sung. One other was a North Korean model of “Godzilla.” The duo even tried to trick Kim Jong Il to admitting he kidnapped them in a recording, South China Morning Put up reported. 

The estranged couple finally earned the longer term despot’s belief to journey to Vienna, Austria in 1986, in line with the BBC. They managed to flee whereas selling their movies and sought political asylum on the U.S. embassy. They lived in exile for a decade till lastly returning to South Korea. 

North Korea has repeatedly denied kidnapping Choi and Shin and claimed the couple sought sanctuary in Pyongyang.

Choi and Shin’s story was informed within the 2016 documentary “The Lovers and the Despot.” Choi additionally printed a biography titled “Confessions.”

Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending information digital producer for Fox Information. Comply with her on Twitter at @bykatherinelam

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