A Treasure Scientist in Living Memory

My mother Yu Suk Gun was one of authoritative medical scientists in the DPRK. She still remains etched in the memory of people as a treasure scientist.

She was born into a medical worker’s family in Ansong County, Kyonggi Province in south Korea on September 24, Juche 10 (1921).

She was deeply interested in medical sciences from her childhood. She studied at a medical college with a resolve to become a medical worker. But she could not realize her wish after graduation.

During the Fatherland Liberation War (June 1950-July 1953), she joined the volunteers and rendered great services to frustrating the enemy’s germ warfare.

Entering the 1960s, she buckled down to developing a vaccine against the measles which was rampant among children in those days.

Cherishing in her mind the wish of all mothers in the country to bring up their dear children free from diseases, my mother and her research team finally succeeded in developing the measles vaccine for the first time in the country.

During the days of development there was an anecdote in my family.

Though they succeeded in the vaccine research, they must confirm its efficacy through a living-body test in order to apply it into clinical practice.

One day when my mother returned home, she told my grandmother that our family members should be the first to be vaccinated. My grandmother said she would be okay, but except me as I was the only granddaughter of the family.

But no one could persuade my mother out of her resolution. Like this, she did not hesitate to sacrifice the happiness of her family for the good of the public.

Later, she became a doctor, professor and candidate academician, and developed various vaccines in her lifetime, rendering active services to improving the people’s health. She also wrote “A complete collection of infectious-disease control”, “Manual of infectious-disease control” and other valuable books, which gave strong impetus to developing the medical sciences of the country.

In high appreciation of her labour feats, the State awarded her the title of Labour Hero, and a certificate of a patriotic martyr after her demise.

In April 2001 when she was on her deathbed, she repeated: I still have a lot of things to do…

Now I am over 70. But I, too, devote myself to the development of the country’s medical sciences and the education of the rising generations as my mother did.

Prof. and PhD Kim Yong Jin, teacher
of Pyongyang University of Medical Sciences

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