Kim stamps out memory of his first love

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Moscow, Aug.9 (ANI): A lonely grave in Moscow marks the resting place of the film star who was the first love of the North Korean dictator, Kim Jong-il, and the mother of his eldest son.

She lies a few yards from the graves of Josef Stalin's son Vassily and his wife, in the Troekurovskoe cemetery on the outskirts of the Russian capital.

A plain black headstone inscribed with her name - Song Hye-rim - and her dates of birth and death adorns a slab decorated in oriental style.

In the twilight of Kim's rule, the discovery has highlighted the plots and betrayals that govern the fortunes of his dynasty.

According to The Times, after hearing of gossip among the elite, Kim ordered the execution of all the North Koreans who had been students in Moscow and knew of her presence.

After years of mental illness, Song died in exile seven years ago. She gave birth to Kim's eldest son, Jong-nam, but lived to see him fall from grace.

The drama began on a film set in the 1960s in Pyongyang, when a youthful Kim encountered a beguiling older woman who starred in patriotic movies. The two began an affair, even though Song was married to another man and had a daughter.

Song moved into Kim's residence, staffed by eight cooks, 100 servants and 500 bodyguards in 1969.

In 1971 Song gave birth to Jong-nam and the young father was apparently much enamoured, although her life from that moment was on a downward spiral.

Kim's father, whose word was law in North Korea, never approved of their liaison and it seems they never formally married.

Instead, Kim was obliged to wed another woman, Kim Yong-suk, with whom he had a daughter.

Song's relatives and friends said she fell into depression and suffered a series of mental breakdowns. irbrushed out of North Korean history, she lingered in Moscow until her death at the age of 65 in May 2002, of unknown causes.

Her son Jong-nam was educated at schools in Geneva and Moscow and grew up a spoilt bully in the absence of the parental attention he apparently craved. Today he is fond of gambling in Macau, a former Portuguese colony on the South China Sea.(ANI)

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