Feedback from the People

On June 2, 1977 Kim Jong Il telephoned a senior official of the Pyongyang Municipal Party Committee to inquire about production at a noodle factory. The General Association of Korean Residents in Japan had financed the construction of the factory to mark April 15, the birthday of President Kim Il Sung.

The official told him that on April 15 the factory was switched on and the inauguration ceremony held in late May, adding that it would soon go into mass-production.

“You mean mass-production,” repeated Kim Jong Il. After a moment’s pause, he said that it would be good to consult the opinions of the chairmen and ministers of the Administration Council and other citizens on the products and they should arrange a noodle fair to listen to their opinions.

This abrupt suggestion puzzled the official.

Stressing that the noodles were for the people and they should taste them first, the General said:

“It would be good to invite the chairmen and ministers to the Mangyongdae Chonsok Restaurant and the like, serve them with different kinds of noodles after boiling them for about five minutes and ask their opinions. It is also necessary to serve them with the noodles made of wheat flour or wheat-and-corn flour and listen to their opinions. The opinions of the people’s neighbourhood unit chiefs are important, too.”

Now the official understood his intention.

Soon afterwards, an instant noodle fair was opened at the Mangyongdae Chonsok Restaurant, attended by officials concerned and hundreds of neighbourhood unit chiefs in Pyongyang.

They ate a variety of noodles and commented that they were all delicious, their strips were tough and it was easy to cook them as it would take no more than five minutes.

The feedback from the people was reported back to Kim Jong Il.

He said that as the instant noodles had already passed the test, they should be given ten out of ten, and he wrote Passed on the document.

Then the noodle factory was allowed to go into mass-production.