On March 20, 1996 Kim Jong Il reached Chol Pass on the way back from his inspection trip to the army units on the eastern sector of the front line.
It was one spring day over 30 years previously that President Kim Il Sung had met a soldier on guard duty there while on an inspection trip to army units and posed for a photograph with him.
Kim Jong Il looked back on the unforgettable day when he was accompanying the President.
Looking down at the meandering paths he remembered that there had been a sentry post there at that time. He asked if it was still around there and said that he wanted to meet a soldier on guard duty, if any.
A general ran towards the sentry post. As it was quite a long way from where they were standing, it took over 20 minutes to fetch the soldier. The sun had already dipped behind the hills and the cold wind was hissing and raging.
In spite of the cold Kim Jong Il cooled his heels on the ridge.
The soldier in full kit saluted Kim Jong Il.
The latter asked, “What is your name?”
Then he inquired in detail about his birthplace and parents.
The soldier answered affably that he hailed from Kophung County in Jagang Province.
After a long talk with him, Kim Jong Il posed for a photograph with him.
Before parting from the Supreme Commander, the soldier asked him to send the photograph to him as soon as possible.
Kim Jong Il agreed, saying with a laugh that he was quite amusing.
It was found out later that the soldier, whom the President had met on this pass three decades before, also hailed from Kophung County.
From then on the out-of-the-way place in Jagang Province has been well known to the people all over the country, along with Chol Pass that is symbolic of the Songun revolution.