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Choi Eun-hee: South Korean actress who was kidnapped by North dies

botchway April 18, 2018

 

A South Korean actress, once kidnapped by North Korea and forced to make films for the state, has died at 91.

Choi Eun-hee was a leading actress in the South when she was kidnapped on the orders of then leader-in-waiting Kim Jong-il in the late 1970s.

Her ex-husband, a famous film director, was also abducted several months later. The duo later escaped.

North Korea has always denied abducting the couple, saying they had sought sanctuary there.

Ms Choi died on Monday afternoon in hospital in South Korea.

“My mother passed when she went to hospital for kidney dialysis this afternoon,” Ms Choi’s eldest son, director Shin Jeong-gyun, told news outlet Yonhap.

Born in November 1926 in South Korea’s Gyeonggi province, Ms Choi began her film career in 1947.

She and her then-husband Shin Sang-ok eventually rose to be among South Korea’s most celebrated film directors and stars.

But by the late 1970s, the couple had divorced and Choi’s career had hit a downturn.

It was during that time that Choi was approached by someone posing as a Hong Kong businessman with a proposal to form a film-making company which would revive her fortunes.

According to a book “A Kim Jong-il Production”, she was persuaded to go to Hong Kong. Once in Hong Kong, she was grabbed and sedated by a group of men.

Eight days later she was in Pyongyang in a luxurious villa that was constantly guarded.

Despite being divorced, Mr Shin and his ex-wife had remained close and he went to Hong Kong to look for her. He too was later abducted.

Source: bbc.com

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