Young Pioneer Tours

“A Puzzle Solved” – Anecdotes of Kim Jong Il

A perk to working in North Korean tourism is access to the fascinating literature of the DPRK. Rarely read by foreigners or made available online, we’d like to share some. Here is an unedited excerpt, taken from the book “Anecdotes of Kim Jong Ils Life, Part 1” (2012 Foreign Languages Publishing House, Pyongyang, DPRK).

In October 2000, Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State of the United States, visited Korea.

At a banquet attended by Kim Jong Il, she set a puzzle to the participants. How was it possible to make 16 with your ten fingers? A deep silence fell over the banquet hall. The silence was broken by Kim Jong Il, who came up with the solution. Saying that it was quite easy, he extended his ten fingers with both thumbs overlapped to form a cross, expressing 4×4.

All looked at him in admiration. Albright was the first to clap her hands.

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