Greeting the Day of the Sun this year, the 40th since the naming of the Kimilsungia, the traditional Kimilsungia Festival is being organized in an extraordinarily grand way. This is quite laudable. Kimilsungia was so named at the suggestion of President Sukarno of Indonesia when the great leader President Kim Il Sung was visiting that country in April 1965. Forty years have passed since then, but I still recall with deepemotion the days when I visited Indonesia with President Kim Il Sung. Historical events evoke deeper emotions with thepassage of time.
The President’s visit to Indonesia was significant for furthering the international prestige of our Republic, and for strengthening unity and cooperation with the newly-emergent countries. During the ten days of his sojourn in Indonesia, the President took not a day’s rest, but conducted energetic activities to strengthen unity and cooperation with the newlyemergent countries. He met Sukarno and talked with him several times, and met leading Indonesian figures in political, social and academic circles. He delivered a lecture at the Ali Archam Academy of Social Sciences of Indonesia under the title, “On Socialist Construction in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the South Korean Revolution.” As the lecture was permeated with the idea of establishing Juche and maintaining the line of independence in the revolution and construction, it elicited a thunderous response from people of all walks of life in Indonesia. The lecture was a historic one in that it gave a most profound and penetrating analysis of the problem of opposing dogmatism and great-power worship, and establishing Juche in the then-complicated international situation and conditions. Studying the work today, one can feel deeply that the President, with revolutionary insight, foresaw already at that time the future changes and developments in the international situation. While he was visiting Indonesia, the country was celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. That international conference had been held in the Indonesian city of Bandung in 1955 with the aim of
strengthening solidarity between the newly-emergent countries in Asia and Africa. Participating in the celebration events, President Kim Il Sung met the heads of state and government and statesmen from the newly-emergent countries who had come to Indonesia, and held friendly talks with them. As a great event that set up a new milestone in the development of relations with the newly-emergent countries of Asia and Africa, his visit to Indonesia 40 years ago will shine forever in the annals of our country’s diplomacy.
During his visit to Indonesia, the leaders and people of that country accorded him their warmest welcome as well as extraordinary hospitality. All the events receiving him were held in a grand way, transcending diplomatic convention, and in Jakarta, the capital city, Bandung, Bogor and other places where he went, huge crowds in holiday attire danced and sang in the streets welcoming him as the most honoured state guest. The hospitality President Sukarno accorded to President Kim Il Sung was an especially warm one. Cherishing high respect for President Kim Il Sung, President Sukarno treated him with utmost sincerity. When President Kim Il Sung was visiting local areas, he always accompanied him and paid special attention to his guest. During the visit, we greeted April 15. That day, President Sukarno paid a call on President Kim Il Sung on the latter’s 53rd birthday, presented a gift to him and ensured that the title of Honorary Doctor of Engineering was awarded to him. Sukarno was a statesman renowned in the international arena in those days, and he respected and revered our President from the bottom of his heart, because he was sympathetic with our President’s ideas and leadership, and attracted to his greatness. One year before President Kim Il Sung visited Indonesia, Sukarno had visited our country. Witnessing the real situation of Korea forging ahead along the line of independence, self-sufficiency and self-reliant defence advanced by President Kim Il Sung, he had been deeply moved, he said. President Kim Il Sung attended a session of the Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly of Indonesia, at which Sukarno made a speech proclaiming that a new society should be built under the banner of self-reliance and self-supporting economy. He said, with strong emotion: “His Respected Excellency Premier Kim Il Sung, the author of the famous doctrine of self-reliance and the daring and successful builder of a self-supporting economy is present here!”
When visiting the Bogor Botanical Garden, I felt more deeply how much President Sukarno respected and revered President Kim Il Sung. With a long history, this world renowned botanical garden was well worth visiting. With flowers of the orchid family, cactuses and other rare tropical flowers in full bloom, I felt as if I were visiting a world flower fair. When we approached a display in a greenhouse of the botanical garden, Sukarno took a pot of flowers from the director of the botanical garden, and asked President Kim Il Sung how he liked the flowers. The director explained that it was a variety of the orchid family a famous florist of the garden had bred after long, painstaking research, and it was a peculiar flower in that it blossomed twice a year, being in bloom for two to three months. After looking at the flower for a while, President Kim Il Sung said that it was very beautiful and expressed thanks to his host for showing him such a fine flower. Then, Sukarno said sincerely that he wanted the flower to be named after President Kim Il Sung. The director of the botanical garden, too, expressed his wish to call it Kimilsungia. President Kim Il Sung gently declined their suggestion, saying that he had done nothing so special and that there was no need to name a flower after him. Sukarno replied, “No. You have rendered enormous services to mankind, so you deserve a high honour.” He refused to withdraw his request. Back in Jakarta, he repeatedly brought the matter to us. On receiving a report about it, President Kim Il Sung said that if President Sukarno and the Indonesian people wished it so sincerely, he would accept the suggestion as a token of their esteem for our people. This is how a flower named after a great man for the first time in the thousands of years of human history came into the world.
From olden times, flowers have been considered symbols of beauty, love, peace and best wishes. Some flowers are named after their shapes or characteristics, and others after persons. In our country there is the Pongsonhwa (balsam−Tr.) flower named after a girl named Pong Son, and in China the Yangguifei (poppy−Tr.) flower named after a Tang Dynasty beauty. There are also flowers named after florists and plant collectors. But none had previously been named after a great man. naming a rare flower bred at the Bogor Botanical Garden after President Kim Il Sung, i.e. Kimilsungia, was an expression of the high regard prominent figures and people of the world paid to a man who had rendered such brilliant services to mankind. Witnessing the moving scene, I felt deeply what a great man President Kim Il Sung was and how honoured I was to be his man, his disciple. President Sukarno promised that he would ensure that the technique of cultivating the flower would be completed and that it would be sent to our country in one or two years. But the flower failed to come to our country for several years owing to coup d’état in Indonesia. Later, Sukarno left politics, and the director of the Bogor Botanical Garden and the florist who had bred the flower disappeared without a trace. However, convinced that Kimilsungia would have been preserved and grown with care, as there were people who deeply respected and revered President Kim Il Sung in Indonesia, I sent officials to Indonesia in 1974 to find the flower. They traced the flower with the assistance of the local people, found it and fetched two pots of the flower to our country. Looking at the flowers I could confirm that they were identical with the Kimilsungia I had seen 10 years previously at the Bogor Botanical Garden.
Kimilsungia is a beautiful flower; the more one looks at it, the more one feels attracted and attached to it. Flowers of the orchid family are known for their beauty but Kimilsungia, with its pinkish-purple petals and graceful and elegant shape, is extraordinarily beautiful, and evokes ennobling emotions. One cannot but be moved hearing the story about how the flower came to our motherland. Our officials who went to Indonesia to trace the flower found that after the rapid change of situation in that country the director of the Bogor Botanical Garden had worked as a hotel gardener on an outlying island and had done his best to trace the whereabouts of the botanist who had bred Kimilsungia, but failed to find him. On the verge of death, he had made his son promise to find the man by all means, and to convey Kimilsungia to President Kim Il Sung.The director’s son finally did find the botanist, who had preserved the flower and been cultivating it with all sincerity. Thus, Kimilsungia was preserved amidst tribulations of every description, and struck its root in our motherland.
Kimilsungia is not simply a beautiful flower of nature; it is a flower that symbolizes the greatness of President Kim Il Sung, who illuminated the road ahead for the world by means of his Juche idea, and a flower that has bloomed in the hearts of the people in the era of independence in honour of a great man. It gives our people an infinite dignity and pride in living and waging revolution in Kim Il Sung’s motherland, and inspires them with determination to devote their all to the consummation of the cause of Juche pioneered by him.
Because it grows in the hearts of mankind and blooms among our faithful people, it is so beautiful, so ennobling and so precious. There are tens of thousands of varieties of flowers on the earth, but none is as meaningful as Kimilsungia. After its arrival in our country, I ensured that the flower was sent to the Central Botanical Garden for study of the methods of its cultivation and propagation. It was no easy task to adapt the flower to the climatic and soil conditions of our country, and propagate it. But, convinced that the officials and researchers of the Central Botanical Garden would succeed, I ensured that they were given positive assistance by the Party: A special greenhouse was built; an institute with highly-qualified researchers was organized and the latest equipment and materials necessary for their work were provided; and many seedlings of pure breed were also provided. The researchers, after repeated painstaking study and research under our Party’s deep concern and care, found at long last many methods for propagating in our country the flower that had been bred in a tropical zone. They succeeded in finding the method of propagation by tissue culture, which thus made it possible to produce many seedlings of the flower at one time. The flower was officially registered in a scientific name with an international orchid-related society in Britain in the early 1980s, coming to be known as a particularly celebrated flower.
Today, Kimilsungia is cultivated in every part of the country–in Pyongyang, in the Mt. Paektu area and on Yonbaek Plain. A modern breeding centre for the flower was set up in the Central Botanical Garden, and more than 300 greenhouses for cultivating it were built in various places of the country. The fact that these modern greenhouses were built in the most difficult days of the “Arduous March” and forced march demonstrates how warmly our soldiers and people revere President Kim Il Sung and how earnestly they miss him. The two plants of Kimilsungia, a flower that was bred in a tropical island country in honour of a great man and that struck its root in our country, have increased to an inestimable number today because of the loyal hearts of our soldiers and people. The Kimilsungia Festival has been held for several years as part of the celebrations of the Day of the Sun. The festival is literally a sea of flowers cultivated by the faithful people in honour of the great man. Flower fairs and flower exhibitions are held all over the world, where various species of rare flowers are displayed, but there is none like the Kimilsungia Festival, in which one species of flower is exhibited presenting a sea of that flower. It is said that 10,000 plants of Kimilsungia are to be exhibited at the forthcoming festival; it is great, indeed.
Kimilsungia is a national treasure, and it is a great pride and honour for the Korean people to have an immortal flower named after President Kim Il Sung. We must cultivate this flower well to ensure that it is handed down through generations and it is cultivated in every part of the country. The existing Kimilsungia greenhouses should be kept in a more modern way as required by the new century and they should be maintained with care. The greenhouses should cultivate the flower in a scientific and technological way, and propagate it widely. In order to ensure that the flower is cultivated not only in the greenhouses but also in houses and workplaces, scientific research into the flower should be stepped up. The botanical research sector should make a complete study of the methods and techniques for cultivating the flower on a mass scale, basing itself on the latest achievements of modern bioengineering. We should not limit the cultivation of the flower to specialists, but turn it into a work of the entire country and all the people. We should ensure that cultivating and propagating Kimilsungia is not a process of simply cultivating and propagating a rare flower but a process during which one cherishes loyalty to the Party and the leader, and displays it to the full. Education by means of Kimilsungia is of great significance in enlightening the people in the greatness of President Kim Il Sung. We must give vivid explanations of the greatness of President Kim Il Sung and the meaningful story associated with the immortal flower, so that the Party members, soldiers, and people cherish deeply the pride and self-confidence of being Kim Il Sung’s nation and boundless loyalty to him. The annual Kimilsungia Festival is a political festival which demonstrates to the whole world the faith and will of the Korean nation to honour President Kim Il Sung for ever and exalt his immortal exploits down through all generations. We must organize the festival in a more magnificent and significant way, thus celebrating the Day of the Sun, the greatest national holiday, in a meaningful way.
Now the People’s Army is standing in the van not only in cultivating the flower but in participating in the festival. The People’s Army has built Kimilsungia greenhouses, grows the flower with great care and takes part in the festival with all sincerity. This alone shows that the army has established an unshakeable outlook on the leader. The civilians must take their cue from the soldiers. The state administrative guidance organ in charge of Kimilsungia cultivation should set up a correct system of working as required by its duty and function, undertake in a responsible way scientific research into the characteristics of the flower, its propagation and cultivation, technical guidance, and training of specialists. It should also organize the annual festival to suit its characteristics, give wide publicity to it and propagate it abroad. I believe that our officials will cultivate Kimilsungia with success, propagate it widely and conduct education properly by means of the flower.