Jon Ha Chol, former Vice Premier of the Cabinet of the DPRK, living in Central District, Pyongyang, has this to say:
“I worked long in company with the great leader President Kim Il Sung. Whenever I look back upon what happened in his life, I feel my heart warming up.
In his lifetime President Kim Il Sung said to us:
‘From the days of the anti-Japanese armed struggle I always ate from the same cauldron and slept together with my soldiers. During the Fatherland Liberation War, too, I fought, eating boiled rough millet as the people did. Today, too, I am living as in the past. Then, I feel at ease.’
As a matter of fact, our people earnestly wished him good health, showing all their sincerity so that he could live in peace in the last years of his life. But he always thought of the people alone, frugally living like ordinary workers and peasants.
I still remember what happened in May Juche 81 or 1992 when President Kim Il Sung started for Kaesong City for field guidance. That day we left Pyongyang early in the morning as he had said we should leave early in the morning because of tight schedule.
At 7, more than 10 kilometres near to Kaesong, he proposed having breakfast. I was at a loss, because we had planned to have breakfast in Kaesong.
But President Kim Il Sung told me not to worry about meal and added that as he had box meals prepared last evening, they will go around, one for each. He wanted to save the time without giving nuisance to people in Kaesong City.
One day I told him that it would be good to replace the existing carpet with a new one as it had been made 17 years before.
President Kim Il Sung rebukingly said:
‘Never mind. We have not so much money to buy the carpet. If we have so much money, I´d like to buy ground pepper instead, and supply it to our people. Failure in cultivation of pepper in our country always weighs on my mind. I always worry about it.’
After all, a new carpet could not be laid in his office room.
There are many similar stories.
One day we got ornamental chicken so as to ensure his relaxation even a moment. It was rough-legged chicken. The chicken with different colours of feather on the heels was very cute when walking.
While walking in the garden President Kim Il Sung asked what kind of chicken it was and how many eggs it lays a year.
Told that it lays about 80 eggs, he said:
‘A chicken should lay a lot of eggs. Good-looking one is not important. No matter how ugly it may be, it should lay a lot of eggs. Then, I will come to see it every day. I wish we had a chicken which lays about 400 eggs a year. Then we can supply more eggs to our people.’
Indeed, people were always in his mind.
When he received expensive gifts from many countries of the world, President Kim Il Sung had them kept in the International Friendship Exhibition House so as to make them wealth of the people. And he also sent to the people all the tonics our officials presented to him at times.
He was an infinitely great revolutionary, great man and example of great people´s leader who devoted his all only to the people´s happiness while living a frugal life throughout his life.”