Regarding the People as His Mentor
In April 1992 a delegation of journalists from the American newspaper The Washington Times visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. They requested an audience with President Kim Il Sung, the leader of the Korean people and a world-famous veteran statesman.
The President accepted their request and answered the questions they raised.
The head of the delegation asked him what his hobby was and what amusement and sports he enjoyed.
The President answered with a smiling face that he had no particular hobby or amusement of his own and that he was fond of reading and liked mixing with the people and sharing their company.
The head of delegation said: I have so far heard from numerous heads of state and political figures that their hobbies were going hunting, angling and swimming and enjoying recreation but never heard a reply that it was their hobbies to read books or mix with the people, sharing their company; your hobby is so simple and I wonder whether it can be called a hobby; but the meaning of your reply is tantamount to the space; indeed, yours is the hobby of a truly great man which no one else in the world can have.
In April 1994 a delegation of journalists from CNN International also met President Kim Il Sung.
During their talk with the President they asked him what his hobbies were.
He replied, “I can say that I enjoy reading books and mixing with the people to share life with them and talk with them. Books are silent teachers; the people are the most resourceful and best-informed teachers for me. They embody a mix of philosophy, economics and literature. Consequently I always mix with them and learn from them.”
In the whole course of leading his country Kim Il Sung always went among the people before formulating lines or policies.
When visiting a factory he would ask workers for their opinions, holding their greasy hands, and when visiting a rural village he would sit unceremoniously on the levee of paddy fields with farmers, offering them cigarettes and discussing farm work with them.
In this course, he formulated many lines and policies including the famous Taean work system, created Chongsan-ri spirit and Chongsan-ri method and wroteTheses on the Socialist Rural Question in Our Country.
The world’s mass media commented, “President Kim Il Sung’s great idea of giving importance to the people originated in his plain hobby” and “His view of the people explains the secret of his ever-victorious leadership.”