One day in the spring of 1946, following Korea’s liberation, an aide of Kim Il Sung called on
Kim Jong Suk, the anti-Japanese heroine, to discuss arrangements for a dinner for Kim Il Sung’s first birthday after liberation.
But he found she was already tied up with the preparations.
The dinner had long been a concern of many people. Kim Chaek and other anti-Japanese revolutionary veterans had often called on her to press the point. They had said:
“While we were fighting in the mountains, we could not offer a proper birthday dinner for the General. Now we can fulfil our wish.”
“Perhaps he will object, mindful of the country’s situation. But, at all events we must present him with a dinner.”
This was why Kim Jong Suk had started her preparations in private.
One day Kim Il Sung noticed what she was doing, and asked her what it was all about. With some embarrassment, she answered, “You will soon have your first birthday after your triumphal return. I hope you’ll share the evening meal with your comrades from the mountains.”
“Share the meal” repeated Kim Il Sung, and then, after a pause, asked her to prepare plenty of food.
The anti-Japanese veterans were overjoyed to hear this, and made sincere efforts to prepare a rich table.
The day finally came. When the veterans arrived to offer their congratulations they found a young man and woman seated before the table. They learned that the leader had turned his birthday dinner into a wedding party for an unmarried veteran who had been orphaned as a child. They were overwhelmed with a sense of frustration.
“This is your first birthday after your triumphal return,” said Kim Chaek to the leader. “How disappointed the people will be to learn that we’ve not presented a dinner for you! They could have their wedding later.”
“No more talk about my birthday,” said Kim Il Sung with a smile. “Forever!”
He cast a fond, pleasant look at the couple.
He always took delight in the happiness of the people and of his revolutionary comrades.