Rumors of a Death

She was a stunningly beautiful dancer who caught the eye of North Korea's "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il and became his favorite companion. But as with much of the internal workings of the world's most secretive regime, little else is known about Ko Young Hee—not even whether she and Kim were ever married. Now, South Korean authorities are scrambling to decipher rumors that Ko has died—either of breast cancer following treatment in Paris or by succumbing to injuries sustained in a car accident last year. Seoul has learned that she was seriously ill, according to a source close to government...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!