Bodyguard to the North Korean Regime with Lee Young-guk

Lee Young-guk, bodyguard to former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, addresses the 8th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks.

On the luxurious life of the Kim dynasty:

“These North Korean dictators have been passing down power for three generations and have created an autocratic state that does not exist anywhere else on the earth.”

“Kim Jong-un constructed 14 vacation homes all over the country, which are each more than twice as big as a golf course, and they possess other vacation homes of varying sizes, elsewhere. Inside there is a huge swimming pool. What is incredible is that by Kim’s demand this pool can contain water from the sea or the mountain. The size of these pools is enormous. He constructed these facilities just to entertain himself.”

“There are 14 vacation homes in North Korea. There are also recreational facilities, amusement facilities, party rooms, banquet halls.”

On the political prisoner camps in North Korea:

“Based on my experience as a political prisoner, political prisoners are inhumanely tortured, killed, hung and die of malnutrition.”

“They are given less than 90 grams of corn soup for a meal, and soups with salted cabbage. They are forced to do contracted work for 14 hours a day. If the prisoners fail to meet their daily work quota, then half their amount is given to others who complete their quota.”

“Every 15 days, people are killed by shooting. Everyone has to watch this incident, less than 10 metres away. Their blood vessels burst, and blood fills everywhere. When I saw this, I thought it was even worse than animals being slaughtered.”

“Each time, when I think about my memory, I cry. I get so depressed. I end up hating the world, and hating the people. As I get older, the wounds still remain in my body. And the scars.”

On the need to take Kim Jong-un to the International Criminal Court:

“No one knows about the Kim family’s luxurious life and the reality of the prisoner camps. If Kim Jong-un is brought to the ICC then this news will be spread across North Korea, and people, including high officials, would show some movement.”

Full Remarks

Hello everyone.

My name is Lee Young-guk and I am the former bodyguard of Kim Jong-il.

I am here to talk about what I saw and experienced as the dictator’s bodyguard and a political prisoner, in order to disclose the reality of the condition of North Korean human rights to the international community and to bring Kim Jong-un to the International Criminal Court.

Firstly, I would like to talk about the extravagant private lives of the North Korean dictators, Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-sung, and Kim Jong-un. These North Korean dictators have been passing down power for three generations and have created an autocratic state that does not exist anywhere else on the earth. Kim Jong-un is the worst dictator on the earth, and even in the 21st century, he has constructed camps for political prisoners and put the people who are against him there to labour. In this way, he is killing these people in such brutal ways.

Kim Jong-un constructed 14 vacation homes all over the country, which are each more than twice as big as a golf course, and they possess other vacation homes of varying sizes, elsewhere. Inside there is a huge swimming pool. What is incredible is that by Kim’s demand this pool can contain water from the sea or the mountain. The size of these pools is enormous. He constructed these facilities just to entertain himself. They use different vacation homes each season. Sometimes he goes to other vacation homes to hunt and drive, shooting hundreds of animals in a single night to entertain himself. In other vacation homes, he enjoys swimming in the pools, and in other vacation homes, there is a huge swimming pool about 70m wide and 100m deep.

In this swimming pool he can demand other people carry water from the sea or the mountain and keep the temperature always above 25 degrees Celsius. Also in the swimming pool he hangs out with groups of girls. He creates artificial waterfalls in the swimming pool. In the sea, he puts lots of stones, and then he creates a fishing area just for himself, so that when he fishes, lots of fish come out in three seconds.

There are 14 vacation homes in North Korea. There are also recreational facilities, amusement facilities, party rooms, banquet halls. In 1998 so many people died. If they open the door to neighbouring country, then little Kim could save the people, but he didn’t. He watched and witnessed his people dying. The corpses could cover the whole land of North Korea. It could not happen anywhere else on earth other than North Korea.

In the country, 1/4 of all lands are owned by the Kim family. The reason why I am telling you the reality of the Kim family is that, as a leader, he should care about his own citizens. But he only cares about his private goods. He even constructed political prisoner camps and killed people inhumanely. People die of hunger, malnutrition, beating. That’s why I talked about his private, luxurious life. To explain why they do not want to give up their dictatorship.

Based on my experience as a political prisoner, political prisoners are inhumanely tortured, killed, hung and die of malnutrition. At those political prisoners camps, I regretted that why i worked as his bodyguard for 11 years. All the prisoners are treated as animals. They are only given small portions of food, low quality food. They are given less than 90 grams of corn soup for a meal, and soups with salted cabbage. They are forced to do contracted work for 14 hours a day. If the prisoners fail to meet their daily work quota, then half their amount is given to others who complete their quota.

There is no difference between male and female in the prison camps. Their conditions are worse than animals. Each time, when I think about my memory, I cry. I get so depressed. I end up hating the world, and hating the people. As I get older, the wounds still remain in my body. And the scars.

Every 15 days, people are killed by shooting. Everyone has to watch this incident, less than 10 metres away. Their blood vessels burst, and blood fills everywhere. When I saw this, I thought it was even worse than animals being slaughtered.

When one prisoner is sentenced to death by hanging, thousands of people are forced to gather. In front of these people the prisoner’s face, mouth and jaws are hit by musket. Due to the harsh and inhumane working conditions, beatings and malnutrition, their whole body swells and bursts so that nutrients flow out which leads to death. Because of malnutrition, their bodies open and all the excrement flows out.

I witnessed and experienced these brutalities. That’s why I understand people’s emotions. So I want to ask the international community: there are no other places on earth where Kim Jong-un, Kim Il Sung are portrayed as God, covering citizens’ eyes and ears. I do not understand the situation at all.

To resolve the situation, the international community, and media, should support North Korean human rights. Right now, Kim Jong-un is an inexperienced and young leader. Kim Jong-un is repressing North Koreans’ happiness and liberty. In order to resolve the political prisoner camps in North Korea, I would like to bring Kim Jong-un to the International Criminal Court.

I really need your help, because even the high officials do not know about the secret and private life of the Kim family, because his life is hidden by his bodyguards: people should not know about the situation that is going on in the prisoner camps. No one knows about the Kim family’s luxurious life and the reality of the prisoner camps.

If Kim Jong-un is brought to the ICC then this news will be spread across North Korea, and people, including high officials, would show some movement.

Thank you so much.

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