Consultative Meeting with Unusual Start

In May, Juche 70 (1981), a consultative meeting was held, in the presence of President Kim Il Sung, in the township of Undok County (Kyonghung County at present). At the very beginning of the meeting, the President asked an official who had lived longest there if he knew why the area was called Aoji. As he was tardy in answering the question, another official answered for him that in the past it was such an area unfit for human inhabitation that the inhabitants used to say to the pieceworkers to coal mines there for digging coal “Oh, please, you’d rather not come here.” (pronounced as “A, oji malla” in Korean), which was later fixed to be the name, Aoji. Guessing that it was named so because coal miners found it too hard to survive and make a living before liberation as they were forced to crawl to narrow dim coalfaces to do primitive jobs under the whips of cruel overseers, he said that the name must have been used from the period before the feudal Joson dynasty. At that time, an official came into the meeting venue and whispered something to the President. Then, the President reported to the audience that he had guessed right, saying that he had just got a reply from an official in Pyongyang whom he had commissioned to trace the origin of the name “Aoji” as he felt it did not sound like Korean. It was not Korean, indeed. Informing them of the origin, the President said that the names given by the foreign invaders should not continue to be in use. Then, he stressed the need to change all the names of the places and factories there beginning with “Aoji” into Korean. It was a significant moment that gave a valuable philosophy that when the Juche character and national identity are thoroughly embodied, we can victoriously advance the socialist construction with the independent dignity and national pride.