In the aftermath of the Arduous March and forced march the country was running short of electric power.
The same was true of a rural village on the west coast.
One night the whole village was lit up. The residents learned that a windpower station built by a nearby KPA unit was supplying electricity to their village. They were deeply grateful to the service personnel.
The following was how this happened.
On February 3, 2004 Kim Jong Il inspected the unit.
He climbed up a rugged hill behind the headquarters to see the windpower station built by the soldiers.
The turbines lining up on the ridge at intervals of dozens of metres blended well with the landscape; its huge wings were quite a spectacle.
“The wind turbines are colossal. It is wonderful.”
He was all smiles, seeing the giants spinning round and round. Then he asked where the electric power from the turbines was supplied.
“It is supplied to the headquarters of the unit, companies directly attached to it and houses of the officers at the headquarters and civilian employees. Lighting and heating at the companies are powered by electricity,” said an officer.
The General was satisfied that the companies were benefiting from the electric heating system.
Then he was lost in thought, surveying the village at the foot of a nearby mountain.
After a while, he asked to the officials, “How is electricity supplied to the farmers’ houses over there?”
They could not give him a reply.
He understood their feelings and resumed: You should ensure that the electricity from the wind turbines is supplied also to the farmers’ houses in the surrounding area. The farmers live across a road at the other side of the village for the headquarters’ officers. At night the latter will be lit up but not the former. You should have considered what an impression this stark contrast would make on the civilians.
He said to the officers:
“You should tell the residents that this time you have built a windpower station and its output of electric power is not so large. If you say that you are going to share it with them though it is not sufficient, they will be pleased and thank the service personnel for it, praising that it is indeed an army for our people. And this tale will go down to posterity like a legend.”
The officers felt remorse for not having paid due concern to the people.
This was how electricity was supplied to the farmers’ village.
When they were thanked by the farmers, the soldiers told them about their Supreme Commander’s close concern, saying that they must thank the General.