Instead of spending time on training for upcoming summer exercise which considered very important, the troops went to help farmers raising its crops. This kind of action from North Korean troops is very unusual because Kim Jong-Il always treated military enhancement as country’s most priority task which is supported by his policy called, "Songun."
From my point of view, this unusual action from North Korean troops can be explained many different ways. First explanation can be simply because North Korean leader realized immediate emergence of food shortage. Some source actually stated that their food shortage is so serious this year that they actually will be experiencing famine if they don't receive large amount of aid from other countries. Second way of looking at this incident is may be North Korea wants to provoke sympathy from foreign aid groups by emphasizing seriousness of food shortage. Thirdly, such unexpected help from troops will always increase patriotism from people (Especially when the government emphasizes so much whenever they do something actually good for people). Finally, this type of action actually will provoke positive point of view towards North Korea. North Korea can actually use these kinds of actions later in the negotiation that they are looking after their people and claim that people come before military development; therefore, North Korea isn't always just asking for help but actually trying.