On January 23, 2003 Kim Jong Il’s car arrived at the forward command post of a KPA unit on the front line.
It was still before daybreak and the blizzards were howling.
The officers of the unit ran in a hurry to greet him, but they were surprised to see him unaccompanied by his entourage.
It was quite exceptional.
Hours ago, after burning the midnight oil in his office, he called an official and told him to prepare for an inspection trip to the front line.
The official made prompt preparations for it but had no time to inform the cameramen. He grew anxious as he was well aware of how important the inspection trip was in the history of his revolutionary activities.
The General read his mind and said that he must hurry up as the soldiers on the front line were waiting for him.
He told the official to ensure that the officials concerned and cameramen would come after him.
The officers of the frontline unit could hardly conceal their surprise.
The General told them that his entourage would arrive later and he would first look round the command post.
He led the way and, on top of the height, surveyed the defence lines extending on a vast area.
He was briefed on the situation by the commander of the unit and inquired in detail about the local topography and deployment of forces.
After long hours he climbed down the height to meet the soldiers.
By then the officials concerned and cameramen arrived.
They looked so sorry for being late. They requested him to climb up again.
A smile surfaced on his face, and he said that they must be feeling regret about not taking a photograph.
He continued, “The soldiers are waiting. Let us all pose for a photograph with them.”
Regrettably, a page of the history of his Songun-based leadership was not recorded.