Among many state leaders who showed ardent respect and admiration for President Kim Il Sung of the DPRK was Sukarno (1901-1970), first president of the Republic of Indonesia.
President Sukarno, when he visited the DPRK in November 1964, invited President Kim Il Sung to his country. And President Kim Il Sung paid an official visit to Indonesia to participate in the celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary of the Bandung Conference (the first conference of the Asian and African countries held in Bandung, Indonesia, in April 1955).
When the DPRK President arrived in Jakarta of Indonesia on April 10, 1965, Sukarno warmly greeted him at the airport and made a speech in the welcoming ceremony. He said with excitement in the following vein: I have longed for the visit to Indonesia by President Kim Il Sung, and even though circumstances did not allow him to do so, I was not disappointed but waited for him. Now over a hundred million Indonesian people welcome his arrival.
President Kim Il Sung said in his return speech that he visited the beautiful country of Indonesia with friendly feelings of the Korean people towards its people at the kind invitation of President Sukarno. Saying that he had long wished to visit Indonesia and meet its people, he expressed his expectation that during the visit he would witness valuable achievements performed by the heroic Indonesian people in their struggle and learn from them.
That day, there was a ceremony to award President Kim Il Sung the Order of the Republic 1st Class of Indonesia. Conferring the top order of Indonesia on him, Sukarno said that the DPRK President was not only the friend of Indonesian people and the Republic of Indonesia but also his dear friend. He continued to say that all successes the Korean people made in their economic construction were of direct help to the struggle of the Indonesian people for building a just, prosperous society.
In his welcoming address made in the banquet, Sukarno said that the Indonesian people and the Korean people were friends and comrades-in-arms in the anti-imperialist struggle as well as in the building of a new thriving society, adding that he wished Kim Il Sung would stay longer in his country.
In his return speech, Kim Il Sung said that the peoples of the DPRK and Indonesia had formed firm and friendly bonds since long ago and liberated their countries from the imperialist colonial rule through protracted struggle and that they were on the common front of anti-imperialist, anti-colonial struggle.
On April 11, Sukarno invited Kim Il Sung who was on a visit to Bandung, capital of West Java Province, to a session of the Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly of Indonesia. The latter modestly declined the request, saying that he had no just reason for his participation in the session discussing the internal affairs of Indonesia. But Sukarno insisted that the latter would be present at the session, for the meeting was timed to coincide with his visit to Indonesia.
Delivering a policy speech at the session, which was known to the world as the switchover in Indonesia, Sukarno first mentioned that President Kim Il Sung of the DPRK, father of the famous self-reliance and bold, successful performer of a self-supporting economy, attended the session and suggested to all the participants that they welcome the DPRK president with enthusiastic applause.
Noting that the Korean people built a solid, self-supporting national economy under the wise leadership of President Kim Il Sung, so that they were independent of any forces politically and economically, he encouraged his people to build the self-supporting national economy with the spirit of self-reliance following the example of the DPRK.
During his stay in Indonesia, Kim Il Sung greeted his 53rd birthday.
On April 13, Sukarno accompanied Kim Il Sung to the Bogor Botanical Garden which was called a “flower garden of Indonesia”.
His intention of inviting the DPRK President to the botanical garden was not merely a ceremonial etiquette for a foreign president, but to present a rare flower he had long prepared with utmost sincerity for the latter.
After enjoying the flowers in the garden, Kim Il Sung stopped at a bewitchingly beautiful flower, carefully examining its petals and praising that it was very beautiful and fragrant. He expressed his thanks for showing him such a beautiful flower and congratulated the florists on their success in breeding it.
Then Sukarno proposed naming the flower Kimilsungia after the DPRK President, saying that the idea of Kim Il Sung was so great that it moved the world and that it was not too much to say that he had the whole world in possession.
Though Kim Il Sung declined modestly, Sukarno insisted thatthe former had already rendered enormous services to mankind so he deserved a high honour.
This is how Kimilsungia, immortal flower in high praise for a great man, came into being.
On the early morning of April 15, Sukarno sent his personal message and a floral basket to congratulate Kim Il Sung on his birthday and paid a visit, together with his family members, to the latter to present gifts.
That day, a splendid ceremony was held at the state palace to award the title of Honorary Doctor of Engineering to the DPRK President.
He also arranged that the Song of General Kim Il Sung was played in the banquet given on April 17 in honour of the participants in the celebration to mark the tenth anniversary of the Bandung Conference. Noting that the immortal revolutionary song was familiar to him and the entire Indonesian people, Sukarno said it was a world-famous song as President Kim Il Sung was a world-famous person.
Even today the peoples of the two countries vividly remember the boundless admiration for President Kim Il Sung cherished by President Sukarno.