It happened in August 2000 when Chairman Kim Jong Il gave a luncheon in honour of a visiting delegation of senior executives from south Korean media circles.
In the middle of the talks he asked a member of the delegation how many years he had been engaged in journalism. When he replied that he had been involved in journalism for about 30 years, Kim Jong Il said that he must have conducted anti-north propaganda for 80 percent of his career, which created a ripple of laughter among the audience.
As the atmosphere of the luncheon changed at once by the leader’s generous personality, the senior executives who were keenly skeptical about the questions raised by Kim Jong Il by force of professional habit began to throw a barrage of questions at him, despite their promise not to put any questions during the occasion. After all, an “interview” began.
To another question, as to where the source of his strength for defending socialism lay, he answered: The source of my strength is twofold; first there is single-hearted unity, and the second there is military might; only with a strong military force can one deal with relations with foreign countries from the independent standpoint; we still need this strong force even in the case of having close relations with other countries.