Dr., Assoc. Prof., Jang Yong Chol, Faculty of History, Kim Il Sung University

The choice of one's path of life affects his destiny, but the choice by a great man leaves a great mark on history, so such a choice is called a choice of history.

The choice by Chairman Kim Jong Il to study at Kim Il Sung University was one of such choices.

When he was about to leave the senior middle school, his friends and the officials were making their own expectations and guesses about his choice of senior school and major subject.

However, their common view was that Chairman would study abroad without fail no matter what field he would choose.

In some countries, which had short history and weak foundation of education at that time, it was regarded impossible to train talents without studying at famous universities in big countries.

In fact, many socialist countries and developing countries the students were sent to famous universities of big countries to be national cadres needed for building of new society. There were many children of heads of state among them.

In our country, too, many students who left the senior middle school wanted to study abroad, thinking it was natural to go to "advanced countries" in order to learn modern science and technology. This was a trend at that time.

That was why many officials expected that Kim Jong Il would study at a famous university in a foreign country when he left the senior middle school, and even those from a country which had a well-known university with a long history hoped that he, with a rare inborn endowments, would study in their country.

There was a story happened on January 27, Juche 48(1959) when Kim Jong Il visited a university of one country.

The university, which was known as one of the world-famous universities for its educational equipment, teaching staff had a history of more than 200 years and had produced famous persons.

Kim Jong Il looked round the classrooms, the research rooms and the laboratories.

It was when he entered the lounge.

An official of that country, who guided him, gave an overview of the history of his university and explained the fact that young people from many countries were studying at the university, and that many of its graduates became government-level persons.

The official added that he hoped that Kim Jong Il would come to study at his university, saying that this was not a diplomatic recommendation of his own, but a wish of the university itself that had spared geniuses for the progress of mankind.

Kim Jong Il expressed thanks to the official for his sincere request and said that he was very grateful to him for his recommendation. And telling the official that there was an excellent university in Pyongyang, too, and he would study at Kim Il Sung University together with his comrades, he said.

"I will study in Kim Il Sung University."

The honour and pride of a university is not determined by its history or scope, but by its mentor and the persons it trains.

Although the history of Kim Il Sung University was not long and its scope was not large, it was established by President Kim Il Sung and is named after him. It was the highest institute of Juche-oriented education, with foundations for training the capable revolutionary talents fully prepared politically and ideologically, and possessed of specialized knowledge.

That day Kim Jong Il told a senior official of the WPK Central Committee that we should learn in Korea to be true revolutionaries of the country and it is a great pride for us to have Kim Il Sung University, and he said that if we work hard for several years, we could develop it into a world-famous university.

He continued: I always think how to add lustre to our socialist country liberated and established by the leader; bringing eternal glory to the country is the way to uphold his revolutionary ideas and leadership; I have hardened my determination to study at Kim Il Sung University after looking round the university of this country; I will study at Kim Il Sung University.

People realized later that his choice of that day was the answer of his noble spirit and great faith.

Later, recalling that day, Kim Jong Il said in deep emotion that he had told the official, who had guided him at that time, that he would study at Kim Il Sung University in the sense that the Korean youth should learn the truth of Juche in Korea and make the revolution in Korea.

Kim Jong Il enrolled himself at Kim Il Sung University and conducted his revolutionary activities to carry forward and accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche generation after generation.

As he entered Kim Il Sung University, his ideological and theoretical activities for carrying forward and accomplishing the revolutionary cause of Juche were conducted on a full scale and his work of assisting the leadership of President Kim Il Sung could be carried out on a higher stage, and the successors to the revolutionary cause of Juche could be trained.