At dawn 26 October Juche 69 (1980), it was reported to President Kim Il Sung that the Samjiyon, passenger ship with Korean students in Japan onboard, was faced with unprecedentedly dangerous storm while she was underway to the DPR Korea. As the President ordered, all the available airplanes, warships and merchant ships were mobilized promptly in the rescue operation. But they failed to gain access to the Samjiyon as the waves were too mountainous to buffet. Even the helicopter which was enlisted in the rescue couldn’t lower its ladder on board.
However, the President, saying that the lost ship is compensable but the lost life is irretrievable, requested the officials concerned repeatedly to save all the passengers and crew. When the Samjiyon came in the danger of list with her deck flooded by 100 tons of water flowing in per hour, he showed an effective method of saving the ship and passengers and crew onboard from the danger.
Thanks to his devoted leadership, the Samjiyon was snatched from the jaws of sinking. The officials concerned told the President sincerely to have a rest. But he continued to command the rescue campaign, saying that everybody still should remain vigilant.
After a while, it was reported that the Samjiyon had to go to the Wonsan Port instead of her original destination, Kim Chaek Port, because she had some mechanical problems. The President said that, if this was the case, the passengers and crew would feel inconvenient and, therefore, the Samjiyon should be made to enter the Kim Chaek Port by all means including towing and then ensured that powerful actions were taken.
When the Samjiyon was sailing about 26 nautical miles away from the Kim Chaek Port at about 0 o’clock on 27 October, he phoned the rescue center to ask where the Samjiyon was and how fast she was sailing. He told the officials nearby that every possible measure had already been taken to fully accommodate the passengers and crew at the Kim Chaek Port and asked what was needed more.
One of them, moved by his great consideration, answered: “Don’t worry anymore, President. The Samjiyon will soon enter the Kim Chaek Port. You need to have a rest now.”
President Kim Il Sung kept silent for a while, listening to him, and said that how he could have a rest while the passengers were buffeting their way through the dangerous waves to their motherland which they must have long missed in the alien land. He added that he couldn’t have his mind secure until it was reported that they had all landed on the motherland.
At last, the Samjiyon arrived at the Kim Chaek Port safely. The Korean students in Japan burst into cheers of heartfelt thanks to the great leader President Kim Il Sung which reverberated across the night sky of Korea.
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