The following happened on May 25, 2001, when General Kim Jong Il was inspecting a company of the KPA.
Filled with Fragrance
Acacias were in full bloom in the compound of the company. The surrounding area was overgrown with plums and apricots.
The General said smilingly that it looked like a rabbit village in a cartoon, adding that the barracks was cozy and there were nests in the trees. Drawing a deep breath, he resumed:
What a fresh air. It is clean and filled with the fragrance of acacia blossoms. It is refreshing, indeed.
Then he called the company commander.
“You live in a better house than mine. My house is not better than this. I mean it.”
All burst out laughing.
The bleat of goats was heard, as if they were calling the visitors.
“There is a shed over there. Let’s go and see it,” said the General.
As he was turning towards it, an officer asked him to see the mess hall first.
But the General insisted, “No, I will go to the shed first. It sounds as if those animals are calling me.”
At the shed he inquired about the number of animals and the output of goat milk. A yellow puppy that was sleeping under the eaves woke up and wagged its tail, as if welcoming him.
He said with a beaming face, “Here is a yellow dog.”
Then he went on towards the mess hall and saw a variety of foodstuffs on the worktop.
“This is far better than an international hotel. Wonderful.”
Pointing to an oven, he said that its lid was so gleaming.
He stressed that if other companies conducted effective ideological work, kept the barracks in a good state of maintenance and improved the standard of living in the same way as this company did, the soldiers would grow attached to their companies and be faithful to military service, as the lyrics of a song ran The company is my home, it is my dear home.