The General and the People

On July 7, 1995, one day before the inauguration of the then Kumsusan Memorial Palace, many people were working to lay out the green area along the road between an underground railway station and the memorial palace.

Grey-haired men, children with red kerchiefs tied around their necks and students were tending the trees and flowers, sweeping the road, watering the flowers in the park, pruning the branches and mowing the lawn.

As they were working, a tram was seen coming along the newly laid rails towards them from the palace. Some stopped working, and looked up to see the tram.

“The General is on the tram!”

“Hurrah! Hurrah!”

The shouts were followed by thunderous cheers, and people rushed towards the moving tram. Young people, women, children and old men were running after it, only to see their dear leader.

Having talks with officials in the tram, Kim Jong Il saw the people following it. He rose from his seat and waved to them. They cheered and shouted in tears, still running.

Worried that they might fall down, he kept waving to them. A girl stumbled over a bush, got up and trotted along after the tram.

The tram stopped short of the turnaround, surrounded by the cheering crowd.

The people hedging in the tram closer and closer, an official persuaded them to make way for it as the General was busy.

They moved out of the rails and the tram passed the turnaround.

It accelerated towards the palace, and yet the cheering continued behind it.

The General, looking back, said in a choking voice:

“Our people are really good.

“To think that I am breathing the same air as such people and working with them, I have made up my mind to strive harder for the revolution.”

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