A former bodyguard to North Korean leader for life Kim Jong-il has detailed his bizarre taekwondo-based training regimen.
Lee Young-guk guarded "Dear Leader" for 10 years until he took over the hermit kingdom, he told CNN, but his intense martial arts training rendered him nothing more than a showpiece.
"It's tough training," Lee told the network. "But why do it? It's to build up loyalty. A handgun won't win a war and taekwondo serves nothing but the spirit, but it creates loyalty."
Previous propaganda videos showing off the country's martial arts prowess feature masters head-butting stacked tiles, breaking lightbulbs with one finger performing a dizzying array of spinning jump kicks.
But it, like many other things behind the iron-fisted rule of the dynastic Kim dictatorship, is all for show.
The training was but one of many aspects of proving loyalty to the despot.
Thousands, if not millions, were brainwashed into thinking their rotund oppressor was a god, Lee recalled to CNN.
The living deity's mind could change in moments, from giving away gold bricks to meting out death sentences, according to Lee, who said Kim had "two faces."
"When Kim Jong Il would arrive in his vehicle, 60- to 70-year old advisors would run away and throw themselves onto the grass. They had dust on their clothes but they wanted to hide from him," Lee explained.
"They are scared because even when he was happy he would be rude and could chop off their heads."
A senior official who used the autocrat's private elevator and ashtray was condemned to a concentration camp where he died a slow, painful death, according to Lee.
Lee himself was sent to a slave labor camp trying to escape the North, but somehow escaped his likely death sentence and lives in South Korea working as a duck farmer and political pundit.
He feels that Kim Jong Un is actually worse than either his father or grandfather Kim Il Sung, who founded the autocracy.
"Kim Jong Un ended up killing his uncle, who even Kim Jong Il could not kill," Lee told CNN. "As power was handed down to the third generation, it became crueler.
"Kim Jong Un has created loyalty, but it is fake and based on fear."
Bodyguard to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il was forced to take taekwondo, believe 'Dear Leader' was a God
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60 years after the Korean War, it is clear that not much has changed in North Korea. The country still remains under heavy censorship, with only a small portion of the population living the life of what we call 'middle class'. The people of North Korea are forced into believing that working for the greater good of the state is the formal way of presenting their national determination. The city of Pyongyang is outdated, with only a handful of cars driven by those who are a bit more fortunate. Propaganda rates are high, with many billboards displaying missiles and world domination regimes. North Korea remains a strictly isolated country where people do not have the privileges that we take for granted. (Photo by Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Fireworks explode above the Pyongyaang skyline during a display to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean war armistice agreement, in Pyongyang on July 27, 2013. North Korea mounted its largest ever military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War, displaying its long-range missiles at a ceremony presided over by leader Kim Jong-Un. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)
The Yanggakdo Football Stadium stands before the Pyongyang city skyline on April 13, 2012. North Korea launched a long-range rocket, South Korea's defence ministry and US officials said, with Japan saying that the launch had appeared to have failed. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images)
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Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), North Korea, Pyongyang, Moranbong Theatre, venue of National Symphony Orchestra - Fountain statues detail;
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YONGBYON NUCLEAR FACILITY, NORTH KOREA - JUNE 22, 2014: This is Figure 3-2 -- DigitalGlobe imagery of an after photo of the dam failure at the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center showing sand being excavated for the new dam. Image taken on June 22, 2014 -- published on 38 North (Photo DigitalGlobe/38 North via Getty Images)
This video grab taken from North Korean TV on March 20, 2013 shows a Self-Propelled Suface to Air Missile during North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's overseeing of a live fire military drill using drones and cruise missile interceptors. Kim Jong-Un oversaw a live fire military drill using drones and cruise missile interceptors, state media said, amid heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula. ----EDITORS NOTE --- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT ' AFP PHOTO / NORTH KOREAN TV' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS -
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