Kim Jong Il: Bow when you don't say that name
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Commenting on the Moscow Declaration [signed by Russia and North Korea during Kim's 2001 trip] Kim Jong Il said: "Today everybody is using diplomatic terms, like 'partnership' and 'strategic partnership.' I told President Putin that we do not need to look for such a term to apply to our relationship. Putin agreed. It's all diplomacy, and what we need is sincerity. I don't want to be a 'partner.' You don't say 'partner' with friends."Skip to next paragraph
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[After official talks between Putin and Kim] there came an invitation for dinner at the Russian president's Kremlin apartment.
It was quite unexpected. The guest accepted gladly. The unscheduled meeting left an indelible impression on Kim Jong Il. Everything was so simple and homey. [It was as if] the dinner changed Kim Jong Il's personality. Before that, he'd been a little reserved. But after Moscow, he was more open, trusting, gentle. It seemed to me they'd become real friends.
Kim Jong Il kept recalling this unscheduled meeting with Putin: "If I am treated diplomatically, I become a diplomat myself. But Putin was sincere with me, and I opened my heart to him."
"I don't have the skills to be a diplomat. It's the Foreign Ministry people who can swear black is white, say 'delicious' when it is not delicious. I always put it straight."
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Journalists were particularly puzzled by the fact he chose to travel by rail to Moscow. In his opinion, he should follow the way his father - the Great Leader Kim Il Sung - went along the rails of Russia. And the son must follow in his father's footsteps in everything - even choosing the same route, literally and figuratively.
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[Asked] what his favorite activity is, he said: To [be with] the military. "It is a pleasure for me ... meeting the officers, generals, seeing how prepared they are to defend the country. When I see them conscientiously doing their duty, servingthe interests of their native land, as the head of state, I take real pleasure in it."
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Kim Jong Il got an unpleasant impression of Russian cigarette addicts: "... in your country, smokers enjoy vast freedom. My own experience taught me that you just have to make up your mind and you can give up smoking. I tried to give up tobacco way back in 1982, but two years ago I resolved not to smoke, and now I don't."
One of his attendantsadded immediately that all high-ranking Army officers gave up smoking as their general did. But soldiers do smoke - it is not forbidden. Moreover, the general shows his concern for the Army by ordering soldiers be provided with high-quality tobacco.
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He recalled his meeting in Pyongyang with Madeleine Albright. He asked her how she couldstand to converse with the last of "the communist devils."
"First, Albright interrogated me like a prosecutor. I answered all her questions, and she was watching whether I was using notes or speaking offhand. I expressed myself simply, in my own words. She seemed to like my personality."
A Korean diplomat immediately elaborated: "The US State Department executives who were present in Pyongyang said Albright was charmed by our general. Throughout the reception she kept holding his hand. According to herassistants,it was sure proof of the high-ranking American's sympathy toward Comrade Kim Jong Il. More than that, before the reception she changed the brooch on her dress - put on a miniature heart instead of the American flag."