One day in early 1951, Kim Il Sung’s uncle Kim Hyong Rok had a chance to go to the Supreme Headquarters and share a meal with his nephew Kim Il Sung after a long period of separation. Kim Hyong Rok was surprised to see the table spread with cooked millet without a grain of rice, dried cabbage soup and a small bowl of kimchi.
Although he was well aware of his nephew’s frugal way of life, he was still worried as to what would become of the country if the latter’s overwork day and night were to impair his health.
So he expressed his concern about his nephew’s health.
Kim Il Sung said with a smile; “Now that all the people are fighting against the Yankees, tightening their belts, I alone cannot live on white rice, can I? I feel at ease and have a good appetite when I live like the people.”
Kim Hyong Rok thought it useless to insist. On returning home, he pounded in a mortar a small amount of rice he had kept and picked up grains of unhulled rice one by one. He sent the rice to the Supreme Headquarters with a note requesting that it be served to Kim Il Sung.
Kim Il Sung, however, sent the rice to the divisional hospital located near the Supreme Headquarters.
Informed later of the fact, Kim Hyong Rok said to himself, his eyes brimming with tears: “He would not have done anything else, would he? Even though I knew it…”