In August 2000, Chairman Kim Jong Il gave a luncheon in honour of a visiting delegation of the south Korean mass media leaders.
The reception was overwhelmed with compatriotic feelings. A delegate asked the Chairman whether he would accept the invitation from the Chairman of the International Olympic Committee, extended to the top leaders of the north and the south, to attend the Sydney Olympic Games. He said after a while: I have not yet been informed about it. Moreover, I have failed to find time to visit Seoul, not far away from Pyongyang, where my fellow countrymen live. So, how could I go to Sydney, a long distance away from here, where foreigners live?
He continued that he would rather go to Seoul, Jeju Island and Pusan and that he has failed to find time to do so because of his tight schedule. Instantly, everyone present was struck with admiration for him.
Their questions were not written ones but he was ready to answer every question. Every sentence and phase of his answers was really meaningful and wonderful. His answers were not absolutely out of his nimble wits. They were an expression of his ardent love for his country and nation.
Oblivious of usual practice, the delegates noted down Kim Jong Il’s words as he spoke them.
The next day most newspapers in south Korea devoted their two pages to carrying the full text of Kim Jong Il’s discourse at the luncheon.