A Football Game Played during Hard-fought War

One day in March Juche 40 (1951) when the Fatherland Liberation War was at its height, commanding officers of the frontline units of the Korean People’s Army met at the Supreme Headquarters.

After the meeting, a senior officer told Supreme Commander Kim Il Sung that the critical situation on the front wanted the commanding officers to return quickly to their units.

Kim Il Sung said he wanted them to have a rest even for a moment while playing sports games at the Supreme Headquarters and he had already made arrangements for playing a football game. Fortunately, today is very fine, he added.

Reading his face wearing a look of amazement, the Supreme Commander continued: We will surely win the war. During the days of fighting against one-million-strong Japanese Kwantung army in Mt Paektu, we organized sports games and music and dance performances to boost the morale of guerrillas. The present situation is not so bad as compared with that during the anti-Japanese war.

Then, he asked the official to gather the participants in the meeting (all of them were anti-Japanese fighters) in a school playground to play a football game as they did during the anti-Japanese war.

After a while, there was a football game between a team of commanding officers of the frontline units and that of the members of the KPA General Staff.

Kim Il Sung joined the team of the commanding officers of the frontline units. His team won the game by 1 to 0.

After the game, he said to the commanding officers as follows: You should organize life in an optimistic way, playing sports games and singing songs, though they fought hard battles. Soldiers would first read the faces of their commanders in a difficult situation. So, you should always be filled with confidence and optimism when organizing and commanding any operations and battles.

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