One day in 1946, well past midnight, an elderly official from a democratic party called on Kim Il Sung. Kim Il Sung held the 70-year-old caller in high regard.
The self-conscious official began his story diffidently, blushing: “I have an awkward request to make. I want to have some tonic like wild insam (ginseng) or young deer-antler.”
Kim Il Sung told him to go on, offering him a chair.
“Not long ago I remarried, but my young wife is displeased with me. General, please help me!”
This came as a real surprise from the lips of a 70-year-old!
But Kim Il Sung felt sympathy for him.
“I’ll help you,” he said soothingly. “Then your wife will not humiliate you.”
The caller’s face lit up, and he went back.
Some time later, Kim Il Sung sent him the items he had wanted.
A year went by and the old man had a son. Kim Il Sung was glad, and he attended the boy’s 100th-day dinner.
Nearly 50 years later, he recalled the old man, saying fondly, “He used to tell me frankly about all the difficulties in his daily life.”