Generous father, strict mentor

Ri Han (right) and his daughter Ri Un Son water flowers.

Ri Han, a faculty dean at Kim Chol Ju University of Education, and Ri Un Son, a graduate student of the university, are father and daughter.

But they have not real blood relation.

Un Son and her elder brother lost their parents due to an unexpected accident when they were young. After finishing Pyongyang Middle School for Orphans, Un Son was enrolled at Kim Chol Ju University of Education and her elder brother joined the People’s Army.

Thanks to the warm care of teaching staff of the university and classmates, Un Son started her merry university life.

When a vacation came, other students including roommates left for home, leaving Un Son alone.

“When I was student at Pyongyang Middle School for Orphans, I never missed parents since I spent all the time together with classmates, teachers and extracurricular tutors. But when all roommates left dormitory for their homes, I came to realize that I’m parentless,” Un Son recalled.

Unexpectedly, however, Ri Han, known as a strict lecturer at the university, called on her.

He invited Un Son to his house, saying that she would feel lonely.

She followed Ri wonderingly. After exchanging greetings, she was surprised to see that his family prepared a big dinner table. What was more surprising was the proposal of Ri Han to live in his house if she had no opposition after the dinner.

At that time, Un Son was grateful to the sincerity of Ri and his family members and could hardly accepted his offer out of deference to the strict lecturer and for fear of putting a heavy burden on his family.

But she shed hot tears when she was guided by Kim Kwi Nyo, wife of Ri Han, into a room furnished with all necessary things for her study and life, including a new computer, TV, bed and school things.

Thus, Un Son held Ri Han as both her mentor and father and became a member of his family.

Ri Han became stricter to train Un Son into a talent and educator for the country and showed her parental affection together with his wife at home.

Under the warm care of Ri’s couple, Un Son graduated from the university with honour and became a postgraduate student.

One day in August this year, Un Son received a letter from her elder brother Ri Chol U that he wanted to enrol at Kim Chol Ju University of Education after his demob.

Un Son was glad and, on the other hand, was thoughtful where he could live when he would come back.

But Ri Han told Un Son that her brother is also his son. He warmly greeted Chol U and guided his study so that he could fully prepare for an entrance examination without worries. After enrolling at the university he provided him with everything needed for his study.

Un Son and her elder brother feel the warm affection of society in which everybody forms a large harmonious family through the image of the family of Ri Han who became their teacher and father.