President Kim Il Sung visited the Hungnam Fertilizer Factory (the present Hungnam Fertilizer Complex) early in December Juche 34 (1945), right after the country was liberated from the Japanese military rule.
While looking round the compound of the factory, he met a worker working at the fertilizer packing workshop and asked him from when he had worked there.
The worker replied that he had been working at the factory from the age of 14, that he got married at an early age and was doing a slave labour beside a sulfur oven at such a young age in order to look after his grandfather who had been beaten by the Japs to be a disabled and his ailing grandmother and that he fought against the Japanese as he got older.
After hearing his story, Kim Il Sung warmly held his stubby hands and said he had experienced many difficulties.
After learning in detail about the rehabilitation of the factory and the living conditions of workers, he said he was glad to meet workers and that they were the masters of the factory in the liberated Korea.
That day, looking at fertilizer produced after restoring some facilities destroyed by the Japanese imperialists, he said: I wanted to see fertilizer produced by the workers of the factory. Fertilizer is precisely rice. The country is now suffering from a serious food shortage. But we can produce rice if we have fertilizer.
He informed them of the country’s situation and the food shortage, and discussed the measure to produce more fertilizer by rehabilitating the factory as early as possible.
In April the following year after several months, he visited the factory again and delivered a significant speech, titled, Be Labour Heroes in Building a New Country, before the workers.
Upon receiving his warm affection and important instructions, the workers vigorously waged a campaign for becoming labour heroes and thus overfulfilled their yearly quotas under the national economic plan for 1947 ahead of schedule.
The trust of Kim Il Sung who put forward workers as the masters of the factory and the country was an inspiration for them to make leaps forward and innovations.
Their spirit is still being carried forward.Originally published on naenara.com.kp