Four Packs of Cigarettes

On May 10, 2001 Kim Jong Il was inspecting an artillery unit of the KPA.

In the mess hall he looked carefully at a board hanging on the wall, on which was written a list of rations.

He said to himself, “Ten cigarettes a day.”

Then he asked the company commander, “Does your company receive enough supplies of cigarettes?”


“Well, let me see your cigarettes.”

“I do not have them in my pockets.”

“Let me see the cigarettes for the soldiers. Bring me some packs.”

After a moment the commander brought four packs branded Paeksung.

Seeing the packs in different colours, the General said that they must not vary in colour as they were for the soldiers. Then he ordered an official in his company to send those packs to the General Political Bureau, so that it would investigate to find out the cause.

He said to the official: As we are taking these packs, the company may lack cigarettes. Instead of them, you must send another four Paeksung-brand packs to this company. Cigarettes are supplied to companies according to the number of the soldiers, so if we take some with us, the soldiers will lack as much.

He added, “No one must be allowed to take out supplies for the company at will. I, the Supreme Commander, cannot be an exception in this respect, either.”

Some days later, the company received four packs.

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