On February 22, 1998 Chairman Kim Jong Il, talking to some commanding officers of the Korean People’s Army, emphasised the importance of army-people unity.
At that time KPA units were further displaying the trait of helping the people as never before. In the previous year, too, KPA soldiers went to take upon themselves difficult tasks in socialist cooperative farms. When a unit came to know that there was a delay in the construction of a reservoir to supply drinking water to the local residents it turned out and completed the project in a day.
The military officers thought they had good army-people unity.
But the Chairman had a different idea. He said, “Now some people think that the army-people unity would be OK if only they provide the army with aid materials, but what we call army-people unity does not mean anything like that.”
He went on to say. “It is important in realising army-people unity that the army helps the people and the latter aid the former with all sincerity, but the point is the realisation of their unity in ideology and way of struggle.”
Army-people unity means that the army and the people become one. But if they are not the same in ideology and way of work, they cannot be said to be an integral entity however much they help and care for each other.
Later the army-people unity of Korea developed into that in ideology and way of struggle.