The following happened while Chairman Kim Jong Il and his fellow students from Kim Il Sung University were taking part in a project to widen the road between Wasan-dong and Ryongsong, Pyongyang, in 1961.
One day an old woman appeared at the site, carrying an empty bucket and a shovel. She was planning to dig up the pieces of coal that were sometimes discovered at the site.
A student approached her, and asked her whether she had run out of coal.
The old woman replied, “No, I haven’t. But it would be a waste to leave them here.”
The student arranged for an excavator to dig up the coal and move it to a safe place so that people could collect it and take it to their houses. Then he personally shovelled some into the old woman’s bucket.
The old woman, when she discovered later that the student was President Kim Il Sung’s son, came back and said, “You did such menial work for an ordinary old woman.”
Holding her two hands, Chairman Kim Jong Il said:
“I am also a son of the people. How can I mind doing such menial work if it is for them? There is nothing more worthwhile in the world than working for the people.”