“Diagnosis” Made during a Meal

It was late at night, and President Kim Il Sung was going over a document. He stopped reading and considered something. After a while, he read it again and pondered.

After reading the last page, he raised himself from his seat looking very worried, and walked to the window.

His aide was concerned about him, as it was far past his bedtime, and took a few steps closer to him, intending to urge him to call it a night and go to bed. As he was passing the desk, he caught sight of the document on it.

He had presumed that it must be an important paper but, to his surprise, it was a medical report on Han Tok Su, chairman of the Central Committee of Chongryon (the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan).

The Japanese authorities had persisted in forbidding the chairman from visiting his homeland even after they had been forced to accept the demand for the Korean residents in Japan to travel freely there. President Kim Il Sung had been very concerned about the chairman’s failing health, and some days previously had instructed the officials concerned to ask Chongryon officials for his medical records. The report, drawn up by some leading doctors, showed that the patient was suffering from serious diseases, some of which he himself was not aware of.

The President ensured that everything possible was done to treat of the patient and that valuable tonics were sent to him. Thanks to this warm care, Han Tok Su recovered his health. A few years later, when he visited his homeland, the chairman was full of youthful vigour.

The President was delighted to see him in such good health, and arranged a meal for him.

The guest enjoyed the meal, feeling at home with the benevolent President.

But he was not aware that his host kept watching him throughour the meal, his face clouded with anxiety.

Some days later, an official came to the chairman and asked him to accompany him to a hospital.

“What’s wrong? I’m all right,” the chairman protested.

The official said: “This is an order from the President. He noticed during your meal together that you have a problem with your teeth.”

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