The Host in Embarrassment
On May 15, 1989 Kim Jong Il was inspecting a county in North Hwanghae Province. Around lunch time he and his entourage came near a pumping station by a river. The chief secretary of the county Party committee, who was accompanying him, was very happy because he had decided to serve a good meal to the General on behalf of its residents during his on-site guidance trip.
He told him about it and urged him to come down to the village where the meal had been prepared.
The General said that they should have the meal there by the river, lest they should cause any trouble to the villagers who were busy with rice-transplanting.
The official dug his toes in, saying that it was inconvenient to eat lunch by the river.
Kim Jong Il, with a beaming smile on his face, told him that the foods would taste fine if they ate them by the river, adding that he had some prepared that morning before leaving Pyongyang. He continued that although the foods were not enough they should share them.
The official was embarrassed as he was being entertained by the visitor to his county.
A frugal meal was spread out on a nearby lawn.
The official was overwhelmed with both delight and awkwardness.
Kim Jong Il pulled the man by the hand and seated him next to himself. Saying that he was sorry for serving him with such a frugal meal, he plied him with the foods.