Kimjongilia aroused a wave of passion in the world horticultural circles and a wave of jubilation in the minds of humankind.
In February 1989 a festival of political songs was held in Germany. Kimjongilia appeared on a flat-screen display in the festival arena. The deep red petals, large flower filling a flowerpot to its brim, a thick stem holding up the flower, heart-shaped green leaves-all these raised a storm of cheers and applause. Voices of praise rang out. "It is the first time for me to see such a brilliant, beautiful and charming flower," "Kimjongilia outshines other flowers in the world," and "It is a source of pleasure and pride for humankind that this flower was born."
Later, the flower demonstrated its beauty at international horticultural expositions and flower shows-special prize and the gold medal at the 12th International Horticultural Show held in former Czechoslovakia in May 1991; the optimal award in a horticultural exposition held in Jilin, China, in August 1997; Grand Prize and its diploma at the Kunming International Horticultural Exposition in China in 1999, a highest level of flower exposition in the world; the first place and ribbon at a begonia show held in California, the US, in August 2004; and optimal awards at the International Horticultural Exposition held in Shenyang, China, in 2006, the International Horticultural Exposition in Venlo, the Netherlands, in 2012, and the International Flower Show held in Mongolia in 2014. On the authorization of the International Society for Horticultural Science, the American Begonia Society deliberated the species characteristics and horticultural value of Kimjongilia and registered it as new species No. 991 in 2004. Introducing the flower in its journal Begonia, it highlighted that the flower was named after General Kim Jong Il of the DPRK.
Fascination of humankind with Kimjongilia raised a hot wind of cultivating it.
Formation in 1995 of the Nordic Kimjongilia Association in Sweden was followed by the opening of Kimjongilia greenhouses and establishment of numerous associations and fanciers societies in China, Indonesia, Mongolia, Japan, Ethiopia and other countries and regions of the world.
Many foreign visitors from over 100 countries to the DPRK returned home with tuberous roots of Kimjongilia and over 100 rounds of shows of this flower took place in foreign countries.
It is not simply because of its unique beauty that the flower enjoys fascination of the peoples the world over. It is an expression of genuine respect and reverence of humankind for Kim Jong II, who is still regarded in the international community as one of the most famous persons in the world.