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Diplomatic Corner: Korea remembers Kim Jong Il as “Son of people”

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Naveed Ahmad Khan

ISLAMABAD: Kim Jong Il (1942-2011), Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea used to say that he regarded it as his motto of life that the people were above him and he was their son.

We can find the answer to this question in the following anecdotes. It is well known that he often used a train for his visit to factories and farms across the country. Train is supposed to whistle at certain places. But he disallowed the driver of his train to give whistles at midnight or dawn lest it should wake the people from sleep. On December 4, 2011, about ten days before he passed away, he visited the Amusement Park of Kaeson Youth Park despite the unusually cold weather.

When the employees of the park asked him why he had to come on such a cold day of all days, he replied with a smile on his face that only then, could the people come here on fine days. During his days at Kim Il Sung University, he took part in a road widening project in Pyongyang. One day he saw an old woman collecting coal in the site of a demolished house near the project site. When he asked her why she was doing that, she answered that she did not want to leave the precious coal wasted. Hearing her out, he praised her and dug up the coal for her. As she, touched with gratitude to him for the help, expressed her thanks, he said that he was also a son of the working people. These are just short stories which show his great devotion to the people. He never hesitated to enter a deep pit to see miners there nor ceased his field-guidance tour even in biting cold or sweltering heat.

In December 2011, the last days of his life, his doctors tried, out of concern for his poor health, to dissuade him from continuing with his field guidance. But he dug his heels in and said to them: I am really sorry, but I cannot do as you told; instead you should do as I tell you to. Then he set out on his journey for field guidance. And he passed away on the journey.

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