I have seven years old mixed twins. When I see them leaving for school every morning saying, “Mom, I’m going to school,” I feel all the more keenly that I am a mother.

In fact, I could not move my legs freely due to the after-effects of poliomyelitis from which I suffered four months after I was born. When I was very young, my mother would warmly care for me lest I should fall ill and tell me interesting old tales to keep down my loneliness. At that time it seemed to me mother was everything in my life. However, little did I know that mother was not the only one concerned about me. One day in 1978 when I was coming near the time of entering a primary school, a woman teacher from the Songbuk Primary School in Moranbong District called at my home. She told my mother she would take me to and back from school. Mother disagreed; she was worried it could injure my mind. But the teacher persisted that the state invested me with the same right to learn just like other children and that so I should learn. That started my school life. Every day the teacher, in place of my busy mother, came and took me to school on her back, then to hospital after school, and back to my home. While I was looked after with loving care by the lady teacher, I came to walk by myself with the help of a cane instead of living as a cripple all my life. I finished my primary school course as an honour pupil.

I was now a middle school girl. Although teachers changed and classmates were new to me, my school life was full of joy. The school’s Youth League organization decided that every student should do something good for the convenience of my study and life. Some of the students brought me efficacious medicines for my treatment and some others gave me all the daily necessities their parents had brought them from business trip.

After finishing middle school I was accepted as a sewer at the welfare service shop of Moranbong District as I wished. Working as a favourite tailor for the customers I married an extraservice non-commissioned officer of the Korean People’s Army. On the day of wedding, my mother who came from Seoul said in tears that my marriage was unimaginable in south Korea. As days went by, more and more people treated me with kindness. When I was diagnosed as incapable of childbearing, officials from the district and block came to my house with a medical care ticket and tonics for me. Doctors of the Pyongyang Maternity Hospital, too, did everything possible for me. When I and my twin babies came close to death, they saved us by giving us their blood as if we were their flesh and blood. When we left the hospital and came home, my entire neighbourhood came to see me with clothes for newborn babies and tonics for my early recovery. Today, the teacher of my twin children is taking scrupulous care of them, even giving heed to their nutrition exceeding me, their mother. Whenever I thanked them for their good turn, they would all say: “It is our respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un’s intention to make it the tradition of the great socialist family to look after the physically handicapped people. You know it well, don’t you?”

Their words would bring me to make a sincere confession: “Until now when I am a mother, I have been unaware of the happiness I have enjoyed in the bosom of the great mother. The bosom of my country that gives equal love to all its sons and daughters, that is really the bosom of the mother.”

Yun Jong Im,

resident in Pipha-dong No. 1,

Moranbong District,

Pyongyang