Kim Jong Il changed the subject, saying, “The officers who do not know how to play cards cannot become intimate with their soldiers.”
Then he asked an official how many rules he knew for card games.
The official answered that he did not know all but some favoured by the soldiers. He began to explain them, particularly honssol in the Myongryong game.
After a while the General interjected that honssol might be honssal, meaning embarrassment. When playing this game, there would be nobody who had not been embarrassed by the opponent’s trick.
All gave an amused laugh at this witty comparison.
Then he asked how many months the cards could last.
He underlined the need to supply better-quality cards to the soldiers, saying that they could not last long because they would easily crease and wear thin as the official said.
He continued, “The General Political Bureau should ensure that the old packs of cards used by the soldiers are sent to me. Those packs should have tags denoting how many months they have been used.”
He stressed that he would examine them and take measures to improve their quality.
Later, he went over the packs in his office and took appropriate steps to supply better-quality cards to the soldiers.