Voice in Praise of Great Man 6

The Greatest Man in Present Era (1)

President Kim Il Sung also established ties of friendship with Western state leaders. Among them was former French President Mitterrand.

Mitterrand, who came out as the candidate of the Socialist Party for the presidential election to be held in France in May, visited the DPRK in February Juche 70(1981).

After greeting him warmly, President Kim Il Sung arranged a grand banquet for him.

Deeply moved by this, Mitterrand said looking up at the President that he knew the President was a well-reputed man who had engaged in revolutionary activities since his early years and the greatest man in the present era. He proudly referred to the fact that he had stressed on the greatness of the President in the Socialist International on several occasions.

Since 1972, Mitterrand had been working as vice-president of the Socialist International comprising over 80 socialist parties and social democratic parties in the world.

At the talks held with the President for a long while, Mitterrand said he visited Pyongyang according to the decision of his party that it is badly needed to meet President Kim Il Sung, the greatest man in the present era, and know his view on major international matters, before informing the President of the activities of his party.

At his request, President Kim Il Sung explained one by one the external policy of the DPRK and the stand of the Workers` Party of Korea on major international issues.

And the President expressed thanks to him for having carefully listened to his sayings for nearly three hours.

“No thanks. You spoke so with relish that I didn`t feel the passage of three hours,” Mitterrand said to the President in haste.

“Your Excellency made a clear-cut analysis and evaluation of many problems. They are, indeed, valuable teachings I’ve ever heard from no one. Particularly, we had a better understanding of the situation of Asia this time. We return home after receiving very important and valuable instructions.” 

Mitterrand told his suite members about the personality of the President:
“President Kim Il Sung is the great man in the 20th century. I was fully fascinated by his extraordinary acumen, unusual analytic ability, great intelligence, as well as rich and witty eloquence. I was lucky to fulfil my lifetime wish during my visit to the DPRK.”

The Greatest Man in Present Era (2)

When he met with President Kim Il Sung, Mitterrand presented with him a ceramic work he had prepared with sincerity.

When he was first secretary of the French Socialist Party, he had already presented as a gift woodcut print “Spring of Victory” to President Kim Il Sung via his family members during their visit to the DPRK in September 1978.

The print symbolically depicts the minds of the French people rejoicing at the abolition of the absolute monarchy and the dissolution of the feudal system in France in July 1789.

It is said that the French people seldom present the print with a long history to the people of other countries regarding it as a valuable thing.

The gift reflects the true heart of Mitterrand who revered President Kim Il Sung.

After returning home from the DPRK, Mitterrand was elected as president of France and, thereafter, reelected, leaving in power for 14 years.

He presented a crystal flower vase and a ceramic tea set respectively to President Kim Il Sung as gifts in April 1982 and April 1987.

The ceramic tea set, a kind of the French Sevres ware, was reportedly designed by Mitterrand after his election as president. 

Mitterrand received the sad news about the unexpected death of the President at a time when he attended the G7 Summit in Napoli, Italy.

He said to the participants in the summit as following effect:
President Kim Il Sung was the great head of state. He was the peerlessly great man among those who had been active so far since the post Second World War. I am only lucky to meet President Kim Il Sung among the G7 leaders. I deem it as the great honour.”

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