Anecdote of Kim Il Sung

"Rest" of President


   One Sunday in June Juche 75 (1986), President Kim Il Sung, working in his office from early in the day, asked his aides to arrange a tour of the River Daedong on an excursion ship.
   The officials looked at each other in surprise, for the President never took a rest on holidays. When the officials had earlier suggested he have a rest that morning, he refused their suggestion, saying that working was like a good rest for him.
   So the officials, happy that they had provided him with a rest on Sunday, got on the ship to see the sights along the river.
   When the ship passed Moran Hill, a number of people who were happily passing the time could be seen everywhere; the sound of laughter came from those on a boat and satisfied faces could be seen on those engrossed in angling.
   The President looked at them with a bright smile on his face, as if he had lifted all burdens from his shoulders.
   But occasionally he would look at the edge of the river, saying to himself that more trees should be planted and the embankment rebuilt.
   When the ship had left the downtown section of the river, he said that it was good he had come further because he had come to realize that the riverside of the downtown area was attractive, with a well-built embankment and a lot of trees, but not the section beyond it.
   The accompanying officials realized that what he said was right.
   With a poor embankment and fewer trees, the riverside was clearly less beautiful than in the central part of the city.
   Pointing at the surroundings, he said that shore protection work on the River Daedong should be done by rebuilding its embankment as quickly as possible, planting new trees and replacing the street lamps with more attractive ones in order to make the riverside a better recreational area for the people. He spent some time illustrating ways and methods for the work to be carried out.
   It became clear that his request to tour the river had not been out of a desire to take a rest, but to inspect the riverside and make plans to provide the population with better living conditions.
   Another example of the President's constant concern for the well-being of the people came in autumn Juche 74 (1985). The President, on a firsthand guidance tour of a mountainous region, went fishing on a local river.
   Thinking that this could relieve his fatigue, the officials were greatly pleased.
   At first he caught many trout, but after a while his success dried up.
   Though a float was bobbing up and down, the President was lost in deep thought. When a man beside him said that the fish was hooked, he instinctively pulled the fishline. When a large trout emerged, everybody cheered.
   But the President said in a dissatisfied tone that the fish had broken his thought.
   He went on to say that as he was fishing, he had thought that the spot was rich in hydropower resources. There was a narrow in the river where the small currents gathered, he explained, so a power station could be built there, and another power station could be built a little upstream. If small-sized power stations were built even on these small rivers, the problem of electricity shortage would be solved, he said. When that problem was solved, Korea would become prosperous and the living standards of the people would improve.
   Even during the short time he spent fishing, the President continuously thought about ways of solving the country's electricity shortage so that the people could lead better lives. Times of rest for the President were a continuation of his efforts to ensure the happiness of the people.
KIM IL SUNG Study Section