When her acting career was in a lull, she was approached by someone claiming to be a Hong Kong businessman with a idea for a film-making company which would return her to stardom. When she arrived in Hong Kong, she was grabbed and sedated by a group of men. Eight days later, she was in Pyongyang, North Korea in a luxurious villa that was under constant guard. Despite being divorced, she and her ex-husband, a prominent film director, had remained close, and he went to Hong Kong to look for her. He too was later abducted. They were forced to make movies; Kim Jong-il hoped that the couple's presence could help North Korea's film industry compete on the international stage. After eight years, they were allowed to travel to Vienna to promote their films. There, they sought political asylum at the US embassy, and eventually returned to South Korea.