With the number of macrobians increasing in the DPRK year after year, Jang Tuk Gum, resident in Sunchon-dong in Sunchon of South Phyongan Province, greeted her 100th birthday last May.
She was living in a large single-storey house together with her second daughter Ri Chang Suk and Ri’s son and daughter-in-law.
Guided by Ri who looked younger than her advanced age of 71, The Pyongyang Times reporter entered the room of the centenarian who warmly welcomed her.
After exchanging greetings, the reporter asked the elderly woman if longevity ran in her family.
She shook her head with a smile on her kind and healthy face free from senile plaque and told the journalist about her life.
She was born to a poor slash-and-burn farmer as a second daughter out of three siblings in Chonsong-ri of Unsan County, South Phyongan Province, in May 1920.
Pressed by hard life, her parents married her to a good-natured man soon after she came to maturity, but her husband was forcibly drafted for labour by the Japanese imperialists.
After Korea’s liberation, she could lead a happy life worthy of a human being together with her husband who narrowly escaped death to return home.
Although she lost her parents, brother and sister by enemy bombing and her husband was killed by the enemy during the Fatherland Liberation War, she overcame all sorrow and devoted her all to the production of food grain in wartime.
She worked as an official in the days of postwar reconstruction and socialist construction, as she brought up three children. Even after retirement, she volunteered to do things for the good of the country.
The reporter was engrossed in hearing her story, when the doorbell rang. Then there came the leader of her neighborhood unit and her household doctor from the dong (neighborhood) clinic.
When Jang reached 90, the clinic put her name on the list of macrobians, and since then its doctors have taken special care of her.
According to the household doctor, Jang has normal blood pressure and a strong heart.
And the leader of the neighbourhood unit said Jang’s grandson and granddaughter-in-law and all other family members take good care of her health.
The city authorities saw to it that her house was repaired and furnished with more household articles in the run-up to her centenary.
“I live happily as the country shows deep concern for my health and life and my offspring are devoted to me. Some time ago, Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un sent me a birthday spread. I feel regretful as I cannot repay the favour shown by him,” said Jang Tuk Gum.
Categories: Women of Korea