In the 1960’s Kim Jong-il began an affair with a married actress that he wanted kept from his father and founder of North Korea's ruling dynasty, Kim Il-sung (which even now is so sensitive it remains air-brushed from the reclusive state's official history).
Kim Jong-il would eventually father a son with the actress, a star of her time called Sung Hye-rim, or Song Hye-rim, who died in exile in Russia in 2002.
Kim Young-soon, a celebrated dancer at the time, moved among North Korea's elite before she was sent to prison for nine years. Her crime? Knowing this secret. She told Reuters in Seoul, "I have lived a life that cannot be told without tears. This is just the frightening way in which North Korea works."
Much of Kim Young-soon’s story has been verified by North Korean defectors, including former high-ranking officials in the secretive state.
Intelligence sources have also verified reports of Kim Jong-il's liaisons with Sung, whom is believed to have been one of his wives and the mother of Kim Jong-nam, who was born in 1971.