calendar>>January 21. 2012 Juch 101
What Koreans Overseas Witnessed during Mourning Period in Homeland
Pyongyang, January 21 (KCNA) -- The south Korean Internet paper Jaju Minbo on Friday carried a travelogue written by Yu Thae Yong, chairman of the East American Regional Committee for Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration after visiting Pyongyang to mourn the passing of leader Kim Jong Il.

The travelogue titled "The land and the sky seemed to wail. It was true bitter tears that we saw in Pyongyang."

Chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission Kim Jong Il passed away on a train on Dec. 17 last year due to serious mental strain he got during his long journey for field guidance, said the travelogue.

It recounted a story that despite his fatigue and bad health, Kim Jong Il visited South Hamgyong Province for field guidance and as soon as he came back from there on De.15, he set about on his journey to a place in the northern tip of the country for the same purpose.

The travelogue quoted compatriots in the north as lamenting: "Kim Jong Il demised to our sorrow after undergoing sufferings without having a proper chance to put on a tie all his life."

It continued:

In 1994 when President Kim Il Sung passed away, I witnessed the

"unforeseen mourning" in company with Yang Un Sik, chairman of the American Regional Committee of the Pan-national Alliance for Korea's Reunification.

At that time, Kim Il Sung passed so suddenly that the homeland was not prepared at all and it had never experienced this before so that it looked like a mourning house in very unstable conditions.

To cap it all, the homeland was hit by consecutive years of natural disasters after the passing of the President. Consequently, it had to make the "Arduous March" for several years.

It was against the backdrop of this crisis that General Kim Jong Il displayed his ability as a leader of the people, leading the army and people to form a harmonious whole and work such dramatic historic miracle as building a nuclear power despite the outside forces' threats.

As these historic experiences are vivid in the memory, the compatriots in the north so bitterly wailed over the untimely passing of Kim Jong Il.

It was snowing heavily prior to the ceremony of biding last farewell to Kim Jong Il.

I thought the sky was so "heartless" when looking out of a window of Pyongyang Koryo Hotel.

However, the Pyongyangites overcome with sorrow over the great loss did not care the heavy snow and the cold weather which registered 10 degrees below zero.

Concerned that snow might cover the roads to be passed by the car carrying the bier of the leader on Dec. 28, Pyongyangites, men and women, young and old, began covering them with quilts and blankets as one. They also used mufflers and coats.

Quite many Pyongyangites and people from local areas came out to remove snow and ice from roads.

I approached a woman and asked. "Why are you doing it?"

Her answer was clear. "We do wish dear NDC Chairman Kim Jong Il safe passing." She said this in a choking voice with tears in her eyes. Seeing her, I was also moved to tears.

The north has held that the two leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il consistently embodied the idea of love for the motherland and people.

Anyhow, nobody can deny the fact that through the mourning the north evidently showed before the world the wonderful and beautiful picture of the unity of the party, army and people.

My condolatory visit gave me an opportunity to understand the real meaning of a Korean proverb which says "One might not visit a wedding house but never miss visiting the house in mourning".

When watching many soldiers and people stand in a solemn atmosphere for about three hours at the plaza of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace where the funeral was held on Dec. 28, I was touched by its process and the perfect order that prevailed among the participants.

I came back after getting full understanding of the fact that Kim Jong Il had uncomfortable sleep and rice-balls during his field guidance, a story about which I had only heard, and a moving story about slogans such as "single-minded unity is more powerful than nuclear weapons" during my participation in the mourning events as one of the Korean residents in the U.S.

The compatriots in the north grieved over the passing of Kim Jong Il, beating the ground, but were never disappointed and frustrated.

That's because they firmly believed that the dear respected Kim Jong Un would build a thriving nation and surely achieve the peaceful reunification of the country despite the imperialists' moves to swallow up the Korean nation.

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