By Ku Jong Chol (pictured), manager of the Pyongyang Children’s Foodstuff Factory
The Pyongyang Children’s Foodstuff Factory assumes a very important duty in bringing up the rising generation to be fit and strong.
It produces not only foodstuffs including milk powder, nutritive rice powder and various vegetable powders for suckling and weaning babies but also soya milk and soybean kefir for the children of nurseries, kindergartens and schools.
In particular, it has produced and supplied soya milk for about 30 years without a day’s break. According to a calculation, more than 600 million litres of soya milk has been produced up to now and the vans carrying soya milk have run a total distance equal to over 710 rounds of the earth.
These numbers remind me of Chairman Kim Jong Il who devoted painstaking efforts to realizing the noble intention of President Kim Il Sung to bring up the rising generation to be fit and strong.
This factory started the production of soya milk in the mid-1980s thanks to the measure taken by Kim Il Sung. However, its quality and quantity were not on a satisfactory level.
On learning about this, Kim Jong Il decided to build it into a modern soya milk production base and took relevant measures.
But, as there were many other important projects at that time, officials failed to throw their full weight behind the project, thinking that the production of soya milk was an insignificant issue that could be delayed.
He corrected their wrong way of thinking. Then he sent them materials on production facilities and took measures for solving problems arising in the production of soya milk on a preferential basis.
Thus, the factory could be equipped with refrigerating facilities and storage containers for keeping milk fresh and the system whereby it was provided raw materials by the state. It started production on a full scale on June 1, Juche 81 (1992) to mark the day of children.
Kim Jong Il set the time ideal for absorbing the nutrients as soya milk time and took a special measure to simultaneously supply it to all the children across the capital city of Pyongyang.
Since then, soya milk transporting vans, as the Korean people call the “king’s vans,” ran along the streets of Pyongyang according to a well-knit supply system, and they were given a preferential and immediate passage.
But the country’s bad economic conditions during the Arduous March and forced march put obstacles in the production of soya milk, too. However, thanks to the measures taken by the state, the factory could keep on production and provide soya milk not only to nurseries, kindergartens and schools at a given time but also to children in hospitals.
Immediately after visiting the then Kumsusan Memorial Palace on July 8, Juche 90 (2001), the first year of the new century, Kim Jong Il came to the factory. He highly appreciated the successes the factory had achieved up to then and repeatedly stressed the need to preferentially solve the problems arising in modernizing the factory on a higher level.
Before leaving the factory he said: President Kim Il Sung loved the children so much in his lifetime; I have come to the factory to realize his intention; You should work well with the spirit of devoted service to the people; I ask you to produce more nutritive foodstuffs and supply them to the children.
The story of Kim Jong Il associated with soya milk will be told generation after generation among the Korean people and children.