Meanwhile, Kim Jong Il actively endorsed my article (Regarding Our Party's Juche Ideology and a Few Issues on the Republic Government's Domestic and International Policies) while Kim Young Ju opposed it. It was not because Kim Jong Il fully understood it, but because he wanted to show his faithfulness to Kim Il Sung by attacking his uncle and showing that the ideas of Kim Young Ju, who stuck dogmatically to Marxist theory, were outdated.
The serious power struggle between Kim Jong Il and Kim Young Ju continued. However, when Kim Il Sung gave the impression of choosing his son over his brother, Kim Young Ju fell sick. He was diagnosed with a neurological disorder and sent to Jueul Rest House.
Not long after Kim Young Ju left to go and convalesce, Kim Jong Il called me and said, "My uncle continues to oppose the Juche ideology. Please go and persuade him."
Thereafter, I visited Kim Young Ju at Jueul Rest House and stayed with him for three days. I tried to explain to him that doctrinaire interpretations of Marxism were flawed and that human-centered principles were right.
"The decisive factor in determining human behavior is the human itself, and then objective factors come next," I told him.
"No, that is not true,” he replied. “Humans are only given the right to react to objective conditions. For instance, when a tiger approaches a human being, it is reflected immediately in his brain and makes him escape."
"Well, now that you mention a tiger, let's take a look at 'Journey to the West', although it's just a novel. When Xuanzang and Sun Wukong faced the tiger together, they both recognized it, but they reacted differently. Xuanzang didn't have the ability to beat the tiger, so he got scared and tried to run. Sun Wukong, on the other hand, thought of killing the tiger and making clothes out of its hide. To him, it was a good thing that the tiger had appeared. From a general point of view, since I think humans are the most powerful creatures in the world, we should regard highly the fact that human beings are independent creatures that can use those objective factors to realize their own demands, rather than saying that human behavior is determined by objective factors."
He eventually seemed to have been somewhat persuaded, but it was soon revealed that his concerns were not those of philosophy.
"I think our family has decided to make Kim Jong Il the successor..."
"You have always liked philosophy, ever since you were in Moscow. Why don't you leave politics to Kim Jong Il and research the Juche ideology together with me?” I suggested. “Studying philosophy is more valuable than national unification. National unification will be solved in time, but establishing the Juche philosophy concerns the fate of the human race."
He was so troubled that he could not make a decision. I had to leave Jueul Rest House without an answer.