Priority

It happened right after the project for renovating the Taedongmun Cinema was over.

The cinema was swarming with Pyongyang citizens who came early to buy tickets.

Unexpectedly, a column of soldiers in smart uniforms arrived in front of the cinema.

All wondered who they were.

On August 2, 2008 Kim Jong Il inquired about the operation of the cinema. Noting that watching a film at a cinema was great fun, he asked the officials of the WPK Central Committee who had been given priority as the demands for tickets were rapidly growing.

They answered that the audience included workers, officials and artistes in the city.

The General was disappointed at the reply because the soldiers who had taken charge of the renovation project were not among them.

With a reproachful look he underlined that after the completion of a new project those who carried it out must be the first to benefit from it.

Then he recounted what had happened in the 1970s.

… After the Pyongyang Subway was inaugurated, Kim Il Sung came to look round it. He asked the officials whether the soldier-builders had taken the trains.

The officials replied that they had not, and he said that they had a hard time of it laying the subway, so they should all take the trains. He ensured that they took them for a couple of days before opening the subway to the public.…

Finishing his story, Kim Jong Il resumed: After the inauguration ceremony of the Haeju-Hasong Railway it was the young builders in charge of the project who were the first to take the train. And at the inauguration ceremony of the northern railway the young people who laid it took the first train.

He went on to say:

It is natural, after something has been built, that those who carried out the project use it first, and this is a mode of people-oriented politics.

He noted that recently the officials were not paying due concern to this, adding that the soldiers who renovated the Taedongmun Cinema might not have watched a film at such a modern cinema, so arrangements should be made for them to enjoy it first.

He resumed that as it had 1 000 seats, the soldiers should take turns to go to the cinema, and a militant film should be selected and shown to them.

This was how the soldiers got priority in watching a film at the modern cinema.

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