In the Days of the Anti-Japanese Warfare (1)

Overcoat Given to Old Man

One day in early January 1936 a Korean People’s Revolutionary Army unit on the second expedition to North Manchuria during the anti-Japanese armed struggle was having a rest after giving a deadly blow to an enemy “punitive unit.” The fighters made bonfires and invited those who they had rescued from the enemy’s hands to the fire for warmth. The 20-odd young people had been forcibly drafted by the enemy to carry their supplies.

Around the midnight there came an old man in haste to the camping site, looking for someone there. He explained that his son had been forcibly mobilized for the transport of materials of the Japanese troops, that he had heard volleys of gun reports soon after his son had gone into the forests, that he was there to find even the body of his son if he had been killed, and that he had seen the fire while roaming in the wilderness. At the moment a young man by a fire sprang up and ran up to him to hug him hard in his arms. Having found his son alive, the old man felt tearfully happy. Then, supporting his son’s resolution to join the KPRA, the old man put off his padded winter clothes and offered it to his son. But as he knew well that it was the only padded winter clothes for his father, the young man refused to accept it.

Kim Il Sung, Commander of the KPRA, happened to see it by the side. Now he approached the young man and said to him that although it was worn out the overcoat was associated with the deep parental care and that he would not be able to become a good revolutionary fighter if he forgot the kindly care of his father. Then the Commander took off his own overcoat and put it on the old man. Feeling embarrassed in the unexpected situation, the old man argued that it would be unworthy of him, a member of the nation led by General Kim Il Sung, to take his only overcoat.

The Commander, however, was so kind as to put the overcoat on the old man after all.

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