Jonju Kims

The following happened when the leaders of north and south of Korea met in Pyongyang in June 2000.

During a farewell luncheon, Kim Dae Jung, the president of south Korea, was so attracted by the unassuming character of his counterpart Kim Jong Il, Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, that he asked the latter where his family hailed from.

Kim Jong Il answered that they hailed originally from Jonju.

Kim Dae Jung said regretfully that his family hailed from Kimhae, and that the Chairman’s family was from an original root in Jolla Province.

At this moment Ri Hui Ho, the wife of Kim Dae Jung, said proudly that her family, too, hailed from Jonju.

Kim Jong Il, with a hearty laugh, said to Ri that she and he were really of the same family and now the family members were reunited.

Everyone present in the luncheon burst into laughter.

In the humorous remarks of Kim Jong Il was reflected the meaning that the Korean people should live harmoniously on one and the same territory as those with a common ancestry although they are living divided into north and south.

Such remarks can only be made by him who grieved over the national division more than anyone else and devoted his all to reunification.

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