Past Series >Defector's story
Kim Il Sung "Plant Beans instead of Potatoes"
Moon Sung Hwee, from Jagang in 2006 | 2007-11-19 02:23 Read in Korean
In North Korea, order made by Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il is not a subject of question. So there is never a case flaw of the order revealed. And those who object would spend many years in political prison.
In Samjiyeon County, Yangkang Province, 1992
In ‘1993 Korean Central Almanac’, it is recorded “the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung inspected various parts of people’s economy in North Hamkyung Province from August 16, 1992 to September 3, 1992.” The official almanac, however, did not specify what Kim Il Sung did in detail. KIS was actually spending his vacation time in Potae District, Samjiyeon.
In August, 1992, vacationing Kim Il Sung toured nearby potato farm in Potae District.
On the small farm, family members of Kim Il Sung’s bodyguards stationed at the royal villa grew potatoes. But that year saw too much rain and potato production was not satisfactory.
Kim Il Sung, watching the farm, asked about turnout, and Potae collective farm’s manager was called immediately.
The manager, who was already a Labor Hero, was excited to meet the great leader.
When he showed up, Kim asked him about that year’s agricultural production in general.
As he was answered that potato turnout was not as good as expected due to weather, Kim Il Sung told the manager to try other grain than potato.
The manager replied, “Comrade Dear Leader, in a mountain area like Potae, other crops do not grow well.” “What about Violet Bean (one of the North Korean indigenous beans)? Why don’t you try that?”
Politely, the manager answered again, “Dear Leader, Violet Bean grows well but it can’t substitute potato. We grow it as stock feed.”
Then Kim Il Sung ordered, “Violet Beans have more protein than potato. They must be better than potato. Just try them.”
After short hesitation, the manager replied, “So far, we’ve been growing potatoes and they have been good source of energy for Yangkagn residents.”
Little nervous, Kim Il Sung said “Try them anyway. They have more protein,” and looked at the manager. Reluctantly, the manager finally said “Then we will plant them, gradually.”
And Kim Il Sung lost his temper. “Who the hell are you! I told you to plant Violet Beans and you should follow it. Such a factionalist bastard!
And the manger’s fate ended. He was called to the Provincial Party and underwent ‘ideological criticism,’ right away. He lost his job, the honorary title of Labor Hero, and his nice house.
After the Party’s punishment ended, then secret police came. National Security Ministry labeled the ex-manager as factionalist, based on Kim Il Sung’s words, and ultimately sent to political prison.
According to a former defector from Samjiyeon, many potato farms in Yangkagn Province planted Violet Beans, the practice reverted after Kim Il Sung died in 1994.
The Potae farm’s manger was not the only unfortunate victim of the Kims’ inconsistency and whim. In 1997, Agriculture Secretary Seo Kwan Hee and other agriculture officials were shot for treason. Kim Man Kum, a former Agriculture Minister’s body was exhumed and decapitated. While high officials were being executed as scapegoats, many other bureaucrats were sent to infamous political prisoner’s camps.