The following happened on September 28, 1997, when Kim Jong Il was inspecting a unit of the KPA.
In the mess hall he noticed a board hanging on the wall.
It was titled “Day for the Soldiers.”
For a good while he studied with curiosity the title and the list below.
The commander of the unit began to explain: The officers of the unit pondered on ways of providing the soldiers with better living conditions. At last they agreed on a proposal to establish the “Day for the Soldiers.” According to it, all officers and their wives should take turns in preparing side dishes for the soldiers’ lunch from December to next March. For example, if it is the commander’s turn, he and his wife lay the table with the foods they have prepared for the soldiers, as their parents would do. The same is true of the political commissar and other officers. They and their wives obtain subsidiary foodstuffs before their turn comes round. Meanwhile, they have vied with one another in preparing better dishes. Day after day the soldiers are served with fine dishes as they were done by their own mothers, and have made redoubled efforts in the combat and political training to prove themselves worthy of the warm affection of the officers and their wives.
After listening to what the commander had to say, the General could understand why the above list contained the dates and the names of all the officers ranging from the commander to the sergeant majors and civilian employees, and their wives.
Nodding with a satisfied smile, he said. “This is very good. You are doing a really good thing.”
He continued that it was not easy that the officers’ wives were taking turns for several years in serving the soldiers with the dishes they prepared for every lunch from December to next March.
He praised that they were excellent women who regarded the soldiers as their own flesh and blood and put the interests of the country above their own. Then he stressed that all other units and subunits of the army should follow suit and keep the “Day for the Soldiers.”
Later, he said:
“We can be proud before the world that the officers and their wives are keeping the ‘Day for the Soldiers.’ It is unimaginable that the officers and their wives in other countries would serve the rank and file with the delicious dishes they prepare at home.”