North Korean leader helps to produce new movie hit

Kim, a known cinema buff who is believed to have thousands of movies in his personal library, lent his assistance to the making of "Diary of a Girl Student," which the North's state-run news agency said was drawing "full houses in Pyongyang every day."

The movie tells a story of a girl and her younger sister who grumble at their parents' devotion to scientific research, according to KCNA, but eventually come to understand with the girl choosing to follow her father's path.

The North Korean regime has emphasized the pursuit of science as a way forward for the impoverished country, which has notably focused efforts on building up its capabilities in missile and nuclear technology. North Korea's test-launches of a barrage of missiles last month drew U.N. Security Council sanctions.

The reclusive Kim's love of cinema is well-known. He authored a book on movie production that is also published in English and sold abroad, and founded a film school in Pyongyang that is a regular stop for tourists who are told of his numerous visits there, the AP reports.

Trying to boost domestic film production, Kim also arranged the kidnapping of a South Korean director and his actress wife in the 1970s, who made movies in the North before escaping in 1986 while on a trip to Europe.