Water, Not Fish

On September 15 1997 Kim Jong Il inspected an island-defending unit of the KPA.

The wind was hissing and raging as he went up to the forward observation post and set out tasks for stepping up combat preparations, improving the unit’s combat efficiency and intensifying training.

Then he asked an officer of the unit how many fishing vessels they had.

After listening to his reply, he asked again:

What species of fish are usually caught?

The officer answered, “Flatfish and, mostly, sandfish.”

The General said with a smile that it was important to net large quantities of fish, including flatfish, sand eel and sandfish, with the self-made lighters and serve the soldiers with them on a regular basis.

An official in his company said, “Supreme Commander, I think islanders are mostly thin because they eat fish very often.”

His assertion sounded plausible, and other officials looked confused.

The General said:

I think it is not right to say that one gets thin after eating fish often. The service personnel who live on the island are mostly thin though they eat plenty of fish. Perhaps, this is because the water they drink is not good enough.

The officers of the unit were surprised at this remark.

One of them said, “Supreme Commander. Here the water is too hard, so the soldiers suffer from indigestion. That’s why they lose weight although they eat more fish than those on land.”

The General stressed that they should pay special concern to drinking water.

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