On June 21, 2009, Kim Jong Il visited a fish farm, which had been built with so much effort in the period of the Arduous March.
He looked back with deep emotion on the adversities the country had undergone in those years.
Plunged in deep thought for a good while, he said that recently the fish farm switched from rainbow trout to sturgeons. It is a great feat that our country has succeeded in the artificial breeding of sturgeons, he noted, adding that nobody had dreamed of it before.
That day, talking to officers of the army, he broached the subject of sturgeons again.
He underlined that they must succeed in farming sturgeons in the sea at any cost.
He went on: It is my wish to supply our people with sturgeons and salted roes as soon as possible. In the years of the Arduous March our people lived on grassroots because of the scarcity of food. But they stayed on at their workplaces and defended socialism. We should, at all costs and at the earliest date, provide them with good living conditions to be envied by peoples of other countries. …
Officials reflected on the difficult days of the Arduous March and forced march.
Grassroots, substitute food …
Catching a glimpse of fresh herbs on the way to the front line, the General would order the chauffeur to pull up as he felt his heart breaking to think of the people who subsisted on the herbs.
Recollecting those days, he said:
What a proud reality it is–the Korean people are catching up with the global standards, releasing sturgeons into the sea. Today, against all odds, we are well on way to attain the goal of a thriving nation. Looking back on the past of trying ordeals, I feel the pride in making revolution and harden my decision to work harder for the good of the people. Everything for the people–this is the fundamental principle in my activities and the aim of my life.