Canada has reportedly rejected an asylum request from Kim Jong-il's former bodyguard.
Lee Young-guk, 57, said he fears he will be kidnapped if he is deported back to South Korea.
Canada’s Immigration?and Refugee Board is said to have rejected a request by the ex-bodyguard to allow him to remain in the country.
The board reportedly said that Lee’s statements that he faces persecution in South Korea "lacked credibility".
Lee told The Toronto Star through an interpreter: "The situation is bleak.
“(The regime) tried to kidnap me when I was in South Korea. If Canada returns me there, I’m a dead man.”
In 2000, Lee joined an exodus of defectors and made it to Seoul via China.
In 2016, he arrived in Toronto with his wife and two children, seeking asylum.
He claimed he was at risk of persecution and had received threats for its criticism of North Korea while the two countries were trying to mend their tense relationship.
But in rejecting Lee's claim, the board said his claim lacked credibility after he tried to distance himself from the cruelty of the regime and played down his role as a military adviser under Kim’s dictatorship.
Lee told the Star that he began working as a bodyguard for the late Kim Jong-il in 1978.
At the time, Kim was the heir apparent to his father, Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea.
Of his job as a bodyguard, he said: "We were paid $100 (US) a month and followed him wherever he went.
"Everyone was scared of him because even when he was happy, he was rude and cruel."
Kim died in 2011 and was succeeded by his son, the country’s current leader, Kim Jong-un.
“I find there is substantial evidence … to show the brutality committed by the regime, by the leaders and the common population throughout the regime of Kim Jong-il,” asylum adjudicator Brenda Lloyd wrote in refusing Lee’s claim in a decision released on July 31.
“The claimant himself described ‘I believe that North Korea is the world’s most repressive country.’”
Canadian officials also said they were unable to verify Lee’s claims that he faced two kidnapping attempts during his time in South Korea, Mail Online reports.
Lee told the Star he made two attempts to escape.
The first unsuccessful try resulted in him being sent to a hard labor camp, the infamous Yodok political prison in Gyeongnam.
"In the Yodok concentration camp, in order to survive, to get more food, I volunteered to carry and bury deceased inmates in the mountains," he said.
"People would ask each other, that they’re buried with a piece of note in a medicine bottle containing their personal identity details.
"I personally buried over 300 bodies."
Speaking to CNN, Lee admitted that he was brainwashed by the regime while he was still working for Kim Jong-un's father during the 1980s.
He said: "When Kim Jong-il would arrive in his vehicle, advisers would run away and throw themselves onto the grass. They had dust on their clothes but they wanted to hide from him.
"They are scared because even when he was happy he would be rude and could chop off their heads."
Lee said he wants to appeal the decision.
"In a dictatorial system, if you don’t follow what the government tells you to do, your whole family and you get punished and destroyed," he said.