Kim Jong Il, loved flowers, became a flower

[imText1]In North Korea there is scarlet colored flower named ‘Kimjongil Hwa’(the flower of Kim Jong Il). This flower is a perennial that belongs to the Begoniaceae plant family, which keeps its scarlet color for four months once it blooms. The length of the flower stem is 30-70cm and the diameter of the scarlet flower is about 25cm. Many families in North Korea grow this flower. The flower is easy to grow and has an excellent breeding ability, but it is grown mainly because it is subjected to be protected, by the national law. They some times hold a huge flower show and events related to the flower. The Kimjongil Hwa really plays its part in North Korea, respected as ‘the flower of the flowers.’

This flower, also known as the ‘imperishable flower,’ was said to be bred after 20 years of studies of Begonia roots which are native to South America. It was advertised through media in North Korea, saying that ‘the Japanese botanist Kamo Motoderu named the flower as ‘Kimjongil Hwa’ after the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il, in respect to his contribution to the solidarity between the People of North Korea and the People of Japan, for his great work for the world peace, and dedicated to the Dear Leader Kim Jong Il on February 16th, 1988.’

There is also ‘Kim Il Sung Hwa’(the flower of Kim Il Sung). They have constructed a greenhouse to especially care and breed ‘Kim Il Sung Hwa’ and ‘Kimjongil Hwa’ on a large scale. After they opened of the special greenhouse for Kimjongil Hwa in Daesung Mountain Central Botanical Garden, over forty other green houses were constructed across the nation to grow Kimjongil Hwa, by February 1998. The best one is the greenhouse for Kimjongilia in Pyoungnam Pyoungsung Baekwhawon, completed in December 1989. Its size is 730 square meters, four sides and the roof are made of glass. Why do they need so many greenhouses like this?

Perhaps we could extract some possible reasons from the story of growing Kimjongil Hwa of Shin Myung Hyun and his family who live in Pyoungang City, Botong gang guyuk youkyung 2 dong, published in , on February 1999. In the article, it says, “In order to make the flower bloom on February 16th, the birthday of Dear Leader Kim Jong Il, we had to grow in the cold winter. Having to bloom the floor in an inadequate condition for the flower, the fundamental problem was to secure at least the basic conditions for the flower. All the family members hurled ourselves into growing Kimjongil Hwa. Sincerity (extreme care) can bloom the flower on the stone, as the saying goes, it was our hearts that bloomed the flower.”

Who is Kim Jong Il for the North Koreans who say they see Kim Jong Il in those flowers? Where can we find the souls usurped by the Kimjongil Hwa?

Like our hearts running with hankering
Flaming red red blossom in this country
Oh, Kimjongil Hwa of red red loyalty
The following hearts of one, in every blossom

-Lyrics by Park Mi Sung/ Song by Woo Jung Hye.