In early August 2000, following the publication of the historic June 15 Joint Declaration, a delegation of the south Korean mass media arrived in Pyongyang.
The delegation was composed of the high-hatted senior executives representing the south Korean media circles.
Kim Jong Il met them on August 12.
This meeting was later headlined Shocking Interview.
Single-Hearted Unity and Military Might.
During the talks he asked a senior executive, “How many years have you been engaged in journalism?”
The guest hesitated a while and replied that he had been involved in journalism for several decades.
Kim Jong Il said, “Then you must have written anti-communist articles for 80 to 90 per cent of your career.”
Laughter burst out among other guests who, from a professional habit, had been keyed up for his questions.
This enlivened the atmosphere of the gathering. When they were entreating the officials of the north for an audience with Kim Jong Il, they pledged that they would never ask him any questions during the talks or luncheon. Now instincts were prompting them to stand up one after another.
Unexpectedly, the gathering turned into an interview.
A member of the delegation raised a question as to where the source of his strength for defending socialism lay.
Kim Jong Il answered immediately: It is military strength. The source of my strength is twofold. First, there is single-hearted unity and, 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 ties with other countries. Otherwise, our country may follow the same path as the feudal Joson dynasty in its final days under the reign of the Regent Prince Taewon or Empress Myongsong.