It happened on April 2 Juche 78 (1989) when the preparations for the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students were in full swing.
While acquainting himself with the preparations for the festival, Chairman Kim Jong Il gave instructions on how to warmly welcome and look after the foreign delegates to the festival. And he came up with an idea unexpectedly.
He said maybe some participants in the festival would celebrate their birthdays during the period and the festival preparatory committee needed to foresee and make necessary preparations for it.
Then he told the officials in detail about what they had to do to help them celebrate their birthdays significantly during the festival.
It was a matter that no one had ever thought of and which was unprecedented in the history of the World Festival of Youth and Students.
And he added that their birthday parties should not be prepared in the same stereotyped fashion as they were for foreign guests, but with sincerity after learning about their national customs and traditional national foods, especially personal characters and favourite foods of each of them who celebrate birthdays. And simple birthday presents should be given and photos taken as souvenirs so that they could have happy and lasting memories of their birthday celebrations in the DPRK.
As a result, another unexpected job was “added” to the busy work of the festival preparatory committee―preparation for birthday parties of the delegates to the festival.
According to an official survey, there were over 300 who would celebrate their birthdays during the festival among tens of thousands of festival participants from over 100 countries.
All of them received birthday spreads to suit the customs of their countries and regions and their tastes on their birthdays.
At first they were surprised, scarcely able to believe what happened.
After hearing the impressive story about the preparations for their birthday parties, they were moved to tears, expressing deep gratitude to the boundless love of the Chairman for the whole world and humanity as well as the Korean people.