The decree by the Central People’s Committee of the DPRK, titled, “On celebrating Kim Jong Il’s birthday, February 16, as one of the greatest national holidays,” was made public in February 1995. It had been signed by President Kim Il Sung on February 7,1992, but making it public had been put off for three years.
There is the following story.
For the great contribution he had made to the country and people true to the intentions of President Kim Il Sung, Chairman Kim Jong Il enjoy-ed the absolute trust and boundless reverence of the Korean people. The Korean people, who had acclaimed him as the successor to the President, prided themselves on having another great man and on being blessed with leaders.
And so they had for a long time wished to celebrate his birthday as one of the greatest national holidays along with that of President Kim Il Sung, April 15, and this wish grew more intense as the years went by. But Chairman Kim Jong Il always refused and spent his birth- day, busy with state affairs or giving on-site guidance.
This wish was expressed as an unquenchable national force in letters and requests sent from across the country on the occasion of his 40th birthday in 1982.
However, Chairman Kim Jong Il said that President Kim Il Sung’s birthday alone should be celebrated as the greatest national holiday, and even forbade making his birthday public.
President Kim Il Sung was informed of this, and instructed that Chairman Kim Jong Il’s birthday should be made public.
On February 15, 1982, the country’s mass media reported a decree by the Central People’s Committee of the DPRK on awarding Chairman Kim Jong Il the title of Hero of the DPRK on the occasion of his 40th birthday. The next day, on February 16, President Kim Il Sung organized a banquet in honour of Chairman Kim Jong Il’s birthday.
Everybody was in a state of jubilation at publicly celebrating the February holiday, anticipating that Chairman Kim Jong Il would take a rest and enjoy himself.
However, he told officials that he had made a pledge to the President that day to make greater efforts, and that it was his lifelong mission to carry forward to completion the cause of Juche pioneered by the President. After the banquet, he went to a construction site to give on- site guidance.
It was because of this humility that the decree signed by the President in February 1992 was only made public three years later.