An Official Comes Back
That day General Kim Jong Il wound up his inspection and left the unit.
The day was short as it was the 11th lunar month, but the officers and men of the unit talked about his visit long into the night.
They heard a car horn blowing in front of the headquarters.
Running outside, the officers were all surprised to see one of the senior officials who had left the unit with the General hours ago.
He explained to them why he came back.
The General said to his entourage: Today, while inspecting the unit, I was most pleased to see that the officers have worked with great passion without being depressed after they had been punished for their fault. I was afraid they might be crestfallen and less positive. But they have achieved a lot in making preparations for combat and managing their unit.
An official told him that although they had been subjected to a penalty for their own mistake, they were greatly encouraged by his visit, adding that they deemed it a great honour.
The General was speechless for a while and reproved the officials: The officers of the unit have been subjected to the penalty until now. You should have proposed remitting the penalty when you were informed of their good performance. Tomorrow I will have many gifts, including meat and other foodstuffs, sent to the unit. But I am afraid the officers might be awkward to receive them.
“As they have been subjected to the penalty, they will feel ill at ease when they are sitting with his men to eat delicious meat soup.”
The officials could not say any more.
After a pause he told them that as New Year’s Day was drawing nearer, they should ensure the officers could enjoy the holiday with their families in ease and comfort.
Then he ordered solemnly: Remit the penalty that was imposed on the officers as they have set an example in perfecting preparations for combat and managing the unit. And restore their ranks.
He told an official that although the latter would be away from him, he should immediately go back to the unit and convey to them what he said and restore their ranks.
The official vowed that he would do as he ordered.
This was how he returned to the unit.