Kim Jong Il took an extreme liking to Japanese films, despite the fact that Japan is a country that is constantly portrayed as the enemy in North Korean films. Nonetheless, Kim Jong Il loved films of the Japanese monster genre. Godzilla (1954, Ishiro Honda) was perhaps his favorite, though he also liked the Japanese Tora-san series). In 1984, he decided it was time that North Korea made its own version of the Godzilla film, called Pulgasari (1984, Shin Shang Ok). He wanted Pulgasari to live up to the Japanese Godzilla, so:
- He persuaded 15 members of the artistic team responsible for Japan’s Godzilla to come to North Korea to work on the film,
- He recruited one of the actors who played Godzilla to play Pulgasari, and
- He had Pulgasari’s suit made by members of the Godzilla crew.