On June 3, 1996 Kim Jong Il was on a train to inspect units of the KPA.
While specifying ways to enhance the combat efficiency of the army, he brought up the subject of TV sets and video recorders that had been supplied to battalions.
A political officer said that according to the plans drawn up by the battalion political instructors, companies and the subunits under the direct control of battalions were taking turns to watch new films and having meetings to emulate the heroes of those films.
Kim Jong Il asked him whether the soldiers liked watching videos.
“They like them very much,” answered the officer.
“I am glad to hear that the soldiers like watching videos,” said the General.
He continued to ask if they liked ordinary films or those with war themes.
The officer replied that they preferred the latter.
The General nodded, saying that as soldiers who would fight the enemy, they should prefer military songs and the films and novels on war themes.
He stressed that prompt arrangements should be made to reproduce copies of 17 Moments of Spring, a film of the former Soviet Union, and distribute the videotapes among the army units.
He went on to say:
“As I have said before, you should not show the soldiers such multi-part films as the Soviet film 17 Moments of Spring, all at a time. After showing them one part, you should wait until the soldiers feel eager for the next part. Then the film will be more interesting.”
This advice was implying that officers should know the psyche of their soldiers and organize their cultural and aesthetic life accordingly.