The “Dear leader” visited the Sepik (?)

December 22, 2011 at 2:30 am (Commentary, Kim Jong-il, Papua New Guinea, Sepik River)

Source: Wikipedia photo

It’s almost an established fact that Chairman Mao visited the Sepik in the 1960s, and when I was in the area in 2009, I heard of a remarkable story of another famous visitor. None other than Kim Jong-il was said to have made a brief stopover some years previously. I must say that the details of this supposed visit were somewhat vague, and I was only given hints of the Dear Leader’s stay. Apparently, all those who entertained the great man were more or less sworn to secrecy.

It seemed to be that he arrived by submarine, and was landed at Kopar at the mouth of the Sepik River, and was collected by an out-board motor canoe, and taken upriver, and hence to Korogopa Village on the Keram River to meet the Honourable William Eichhorn MBE, a former member of the House of Assembly, and speaker of the East Sepik Provincial Government. When I met up with Bill, as he was known, there were intimations in the vaguest of terms of an illustrious visitor to the area. Unfortunately clarification of the visit is now difficult as Bill has since died, and of course, as the world knows the Dear Leader has passed on. Perhaps we might be able to learn more from his successor, Kim Jong-un, the Brilliant Comrade.

My readers may well ask, what was the purpose of Kim’s visit to the Sepik? As far as I can ascertain it was to discuss with the Bill the possibility of supplying North Korea with Sago from the Sepik to feed the starving North Koreans.

William Batak, from Kekten Village, an old out-board canoe driver of mine when I worked for Malaria Service, told me this year when I was in Wewak, that years previously he had bringim pinis bikpela Kongkong man long Korogopa, mi kisim long maus bilong wara Sepik.  In essence what he said was that he collected an important Chinese man (To William, Kim would have appeared to be Chinese.) at the mouth of the Sepik River and took him to Korogopa Village.

It would have been very interesting to have been a fly on the wall during the discussions between Bill and Kim.

As far as I can work out the Dear Leader only stayed one night at Korogopa, and also he was unaccompanied by any other Koreans.

In my 2009 visit to Korogopa Bill told me he had many photos that he would show me at some future date. Did he have snaps of Kim Jong-il?

I’m tempted to write to the Brilliant Comrade for any information he may have about his father’s visit.



  1. Anonymous said,

    Yeah – Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable spent a night with me at Karawari Lodge and chewed buai with my brilliant manki masta and raconteur Patoman!

  2. deberigny said,

    Anonymous, yes, I remember the visit well, but they didn’t go to the Karawari Lodge, as from memory, it wasn’t built at the time of their visit. It was at the Angoram Hotel. I also remember that Patoman was trying to line Clark Gable up with a lady from Kambaramba, and this big bloke with a Northern Italian appearance was trying to whiz Marilyn off.

  3. This article has been republished by popular request! | Stories by David Wall said,

    […] The “Dear leader” visited the Sepik (?) […]

  4. deberigny said,

    The answer lies in the soil with the Great Leader!

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