Wedding of a Hired Hand

While he was active in the Changbai area, Commander Kim Il Sung once stayed at a hamlet called Jicheng. There he happened to get to know a hired farm hand called Kim Wol Yong. This man was honest by nature, but had remained a bachelor into his thirties because he was rootless and no family wanted to have him as a son-in-law.

One night Kim Il Sung lay wide awake, his heart going out to the youngster in shabby clothes and with bruised, gnarled hands.

“I want to ask a favour of you,” he said, on departure, to the owner of his lodging, old Jang. “I spent a sleepless night, thinking about Kim Wol Yong. I want the old villagers to cooperate in getting him married.”

The old man agreed.

The old villagers kept their promise. Through their good offices, the bachelor married a girl from another district in Shibadaogou. Her father said he was keen to have a man valued so highly by the General.

Informed of this, Kim Il Sung told his unit’s quartermaster to send choice fabrics and foodstuffs for the wedding.

“Do you really mean we must send wedding materials?” asked the quartermaster after some hesitation.

“Sure. Don’t you agree?”

“No, not really. You know how many of our comrades fell in battle after receiving only a bowl of rice at their wedding!”

“My heart also bleeds, just to think of it. But look, Hae San! Should we allow other people to marry as miserably as we did? … We are young Koreans who have taken up arms, determined to restore the nation. Could we not provide a good wedding table just for one man?”

Immediately the quartermaster left for Jicheng with the wedding materials, and returned that day.

This story spread like wildfire throughout west Jiandao.

In late May the following year, while preparing to march into Pochonbo in the homeland, Kim Il Sung again visited Jicheng. He stopped at the home of Kim Wol Yong, and expressed his wish for the happiness of the couple.

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