In celebration of Kim Jong Il’s 69th birthday, this week is flooded with DPRKoolness. Today, we learn that Kim Jong Il by the age of five is a master equestrian. But what about his marksmanship? Can he handle a gun? Find out, in these excerpts from his official biography, below!
Young Kim, shortly before he became a target-shooting equestrian.
Kim Jong Il was very fond of running, tree-climbing, hide-and-seek, playing soldiers, horse-riding, reading, playing the organ and singing. He liked playing soldiers best, and as a commander he always led the game with skill and won it…
Kim Jong Il was very fond of horse-riding. At first he rode with the help of his parents. His mother would adjust the saddle and the stirrup to suit his height, and give him the neccessary warnings about riding a horse. By the time he was five years old, Kim Jong Il was able to ride without help, and never once fell from a galloping horse.
His father led him to like guns, with the advice that a good horseman should also be a good marksman. His mother bought him an airgun and carefully guided his training in marksmanship. One day, Kim Jong Il saw his mother in a shooting stance with a pistol in hand, while inspecting the rifle range for the guards, and he said he would like to try his hand at it. She extracted the cartridge from the pistol, showed him how to aim and pull the trigger, and then said:
“You must not start shooting without a definite target. You must have a noble aim before you start shooting.”
“The day I shot my rifle for the first time during the armed struggle against the Japanese, I made up my mind to fight for the revolution to the end under the General’s leadership and destroyed many enemy soldiers. I have kept to my pledge and safeguarded the General at the risk of my life, holding this pistol firmly in my hand.”
Kim Jong Il practiced shooting with the pistol every day. After many days of such practice, he got an opportunity to display his skill. With everyone watching him, he aimed at his targets and pulled the trigger. Bang, bang, bang! The three shots hit his three targets. Kim Il Sung hugged his son and exclaimed, “Excellent!” He then encouraged the (note: five year old) boy to practice shooting on horseback.
Tomorrow: We all know that the Dear Leader hates some of the West. But where did this come from? And how does he feel about America in particular? Don’t miss tomorrow’s selections from “Kim Jong Il Biography 1.”
These wonderful snippets — many of them truly endearing, some just funny — are from volume one of Kim Jong Il’s official English-language biography, “KIM JONG IL BIOGRAPHY” (Foreign Languages Publishing House, Pyongyang, Korea, Juche 94 (2005)), which I picked up in North Korea the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Like a red letter edition of the Bible, all words spoken or written by either the Dear Leader or the Great Leader appear in bold text.