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Kim Jong Un's mother praised in N.Korean film 北朝鮮フィルムでKim Jong Unの母親を賞賛
NHK has obtained a North Korean film, which praises the mother of the country's leader Kim Jong Un.
The film was produced by North Korea's governing Workers Party last year.
Most of the film shows Ko Young Hee accompanying the country's late General Secretary Kim Jong Il on his inspection tour of army units. This is seen as demonstrating her involvement in the policy of putting priority on the military, which had been promoted by the former leader.
Showing a photo of Ko holding a rifle, the film depicts her as a good shot.
The film also shows Ko watching Kim Jong Un drawing a picture when he was small.
In another scene, Ko gives a speech in which she says she along with other cadres and people live with confidence in General Secretary Kim.
Ko was born in Osaka, western Japan, in 1952. Her father was a North Korean resident of Japan. These facts are not mentioned in the film.
Ko is described as the 4th wife of Kim Jong Il but she was never introduced to the general public. This is the first time that the existence of a film depicting her has been revealed.
The film was originally obtained by Professor Lee Young Hwa of Kansai University in Suita, Osaka Prefecture.
He says North Korean authorities began showing the film around last month at meetings of party and army cadres.
He adds that the film introduces Kim Jong Un's mother as a woman who supported General Secretary Kim behind the scenes, just like the mothers of the country's previous leaders.
The film is apparently designed to further heighten the authority of First Secretary Kim by emphasizing that both his father and mother are great.
Ko Young Hee moved to North Korea with her family as part of a project promoted in the 1960s for Korean residents of Japan to return to the North.
In North Korea, she belonged to an art troupe as a dancer. She came to Japan with the troupe for a performance tour in 1973.
She and Kim Jong Il had 3 children -- Jong Un, his elder brother Jong Chol, and his sister Yeo Jeong.
Ko is said to have died in 2004 at a hospital in Paris, where she was being treated for breast cancer.
North Korea's previous silence regarding Ko apparently reflects its official stance of attaching importance to the family lineage of Kim Il Sung, who took part in anti-Japanese activities.
Yet, North Korean state-run media had indirectly introduced Ko by referring to her as a respectable eomeoni, meaning mother, in the past. In June of last year, the Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, carried a long article on a kind of azalea in an apparent reference to Ko Young Hee.
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