One August day in 1951, Kim Il Sung received a sad report from an official of the death of Ho Hon, the president of Kim Il Sung University, who had been killed in an enemy bombing raid while on his way to the opening ceremony of a new academic year of the university. Ho had been on a boat crossing a river in the dead of night at the time of the bombing. His body was still missing.
The official reported that the strong current of the river must have washed Ho Hon’s corpse out to sea. He added that it would be impossible to find it.
Kim Il Sung reproached him sternly, saying: How can you say that it is impossible to find him, a precious talent of the country? However wide the sea may be, we must find him by all means, even if we have to search the bottom of the sea.
There and then, he took an emergency measure of mobilizing more than 3 000 soldiers for the search work.
It was not long after the enemy had launched an audacious “summer offensive.” In the light of the situation on the front becoming tenser and tenser with each passing moment, it was unimaginable to second such a large number of soldiers. On top of it, the severest flood in 30 years was sweeping the country.
Sixteen days later, the body of Ho Hon was recovered from the sea off Jongju.
Ho Hon was then accorded a State funeral in the presence of
Kim Il Sung.
The bereaved family was quite overwhelmed, for the Supreme
Commander had come to the funeral even though the situation at the front was very tense.
He said, “How could I stay away when Mr. Ho Hon is going to the next world? I can not suppress my yearning for him.”
He personally became a pallbearer.