In North Korea, the country's leader, Kim II Sung, is the object of a personality cult that has reached almost religious proportions.
MANGYONGDAE, PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA
GV: statue of Kim II Sung, overlooking Pyongyang; GV statue, building in background. (2 shots)
GV PAN FROM: statue of people in war against Japan TO statue of Kim II Sung AND Japan war Memorial; CUs war memorial; CUs war memorial statues. (3 shots)
SVs: murals depicting fight against Japanese (2 shots)
GV EXTERIOR: Pyongyang railway station; GV INTERIOR PAN DOWN FROM lights to mural of kim II Sung. (2 shots)
GVs: Koreans walking around Mangyongdae memorial. (3 shots)
GV: people looking at plaque
GV PAN: farming implements.
GV PAN: cowshed
CU: picture of Kim seated at Manyongdae; GV: view down hill towards river. (2 shots)
GV: pagoda-type buildings in garden; LV fountains in lake. (2 shots)
GV: women and children arriving at Mangyongdae; GV group of men and group of women waiting. (2 shots)
GV: museum building.
GV INTERIOR PAN: people looking at exhibits from in museum
CU: photograph of Kim II Sung as young man; CU photograph of Kim II Sung with members of family; GV people looking at exhibits. (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR ZOOM IN: Kim II Sung on balcony in hall in Pyongyang (1977)
GV: cheering crowd
GV: Kim II Sung applauding on balcony; GV chanting crowd. (2 shots)
Background: In North Korea, the country's leader, Kim II Sung, is the object of a personality cult that has reached almost religious proportions. he is now aged 67, and has been leader of the country of some 15 million people for the pat three decades -- during which time he has exerted rigid control to build a society that is virtually sealed off from outside influence.
SYNOPSIS: This 60 foot (18 metre) high statue of Kim II Sung overlooks the capital, Pyongrang. It was erected on his 60th birthday, and is flanked by memorials to the war against the Japanese --who for 35 years occupied the country until the end of World War Two, Books about the anti-Japanese struggle refer to Kim as the great revolutionary leader, the peerless patriot, national hero and ever-victorious, iron-willed brilliant commander. It is all part of a cult which has fashioned President Kim into a figurehead and established something like a theocracy in the country.
Throughout Pyongyang there are constant reminders of Kim's presence. Murals, paintings and statues of him are found everywhere; this one is in a railway station.
A short drive from Pyongyang, Koreans filed through what has become almost a shrine...President Kim's birthplace at Manyongdae. In those days it was a small farming community. Kim left here as a young man to organise the liberation struggles against the Japanese....and returned as leader of North Korea.
Inside the buildings, objects are carefully laid out. These are farming implements, said to have been used by Kim's parents.
The preserved village is visited by thousands of Koreans each day. Everything has a special significance or meaning...this is a picture of a place, overlooking the nearby River Pottongang, where, as a young boy Kim would sit and compose poetry.
Around the village there is an ornate park...built, officials say, as a tribute to Kim, by the people. The gardens and lakes are carefully laid out and tended by women gardeners. For the visitors, there is no apparent supervision; and no charge for admission. They arrive in groups and walks quietly and quickly around the area.
Part of the tour includes a visit to the Kim II Sung museum. Inside, a series of rooms containing photographs and paintings give the President's history, and the story of his family...most of who have been elevated to virtual sainthood...and who, according to the official history books, were themselves associated with the early revolutionary struggles against the Japanese.
To the outsider, the personality cult is overwhelming. So much so that, when asked what will happen when Kim dies, or who will succeed him, few Koreans seem willing to consider possibility.