LET US BRING THE ADVANTAGES OF SOCIALISM
IN OUR COUNTRY INTO FULL PLAY
Policy Speech Addressed to the First Session of the Ninth Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
by KIM IL SUNG
May 24, 1990
Achieving the independent, peaceful reunification of the country is the most pressing task for the Government of the Republic and the entire Korean nation.
The history of our nation since the division of the country is a history of nationwide struggle to restore severed national ties and achieve the country’s reunification. In the course of this strenuous struggle a common reunification programme for the nation has been laid down and the reunification movement has spread nationwide.
The three principles of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity agreed upon and made public at home and abroad jointly by the north and the south are a great reunification programme which clearly shows the way to reunify the country by incorporating the resourcefulness and will of the whole nation. The proposal for founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo put forward by the Government of the Republic on the basis of these three principles is the most reasonable and realistic reunification proposal making it possible to reunify the country independently and peacefully, as well as impartially, without one side conquering the other or being conquered, in the circumstances in which different ideologies and systems exist in the north and the south. This proposal envisages that our country, after reunification, will not become a satellite of any other country but develop into a neutral nation which will not join any political and military alliance or bloc. Therefore, it not only meets all Koreans’ desire for independence but also accords with the wishes of the peoples of the countries neighbouring Korea and the peace-loving people throughout the world.
The Government of the Republic and all the Korean people must, under the banner of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity, continue to wage a vigorous struggle to establish the DFRK and thus reunify the country.
Ending the tragedy of national division and reunifying the country is the most pressing and vital desire of our nation as well as the challenge of the times posed by the historical trend towards independence.
Today the south Korean people, despite continued harsh suppression, have come out in the noble struggle to achieve national sovereignty and reunification, holding high the banner of anti-US independence, anti-fascist democracy and national reunification. They are fighting bravely, unafraid to make any sacrifice. The unyielding, just struggle of the south Korean young people and students and other people there from all walks of life clearly demonstrates our nation’s high spirit of independence and its unbreakable will to reunify the country. This is arousing a strong, positive response from the progressive people of the world.
The obstructive manoeuvres of those at home and abroad who try to keep the country divided are still continuing, but the reunification movement is gaining momentum on a nationwide scale with the passage of time.
For national reunification to be achieved as soon as possible in keeping with the pressing desire of the entire nation, correct solutions must be found to the following issues.
First, tension on the Korean peninsula must be eased and a peaceful climate for the country’s reunification be created.
Easing tension and ensuring peace on the Korean peninsula is the foremost task for reunifying our country peacefully.
For the relaxation of tension and for durable peace, the north and south must adopt a nonaggression declaration guaranteeing that both sides refrain from invading the other, the DPRK and the United States must sign a peace agreement, the armed forces in the north and the south must be reduced drastically and nuclear weapons and foreign troops must be withdrawn from south Korea.
The Government of the Republic has maintained that the north and the south must reduce their armed forces by stages to less than 100,000 men respectively and that nuclear weapons and US troops must be withdrawn from south Korea .
Since we have proposed a sharp reduction in the armed forces of the north and south, from a sincere desire for a peaceful settlement of the question of Korea ’s reunification, and since the withdrawal of foreign troops is a world trend, there is no reason for the US armed forces to remain in south Korea . The withdrawal of US forces from south Korea will accord with the trend of the times towards peace and detente and also with the interests of the American people.
The earlier the US forces leave south Korea , the sooner Korea will be reunified. This will be welcomed by our people and the peace-loving people throughout the world. If the United States cannot withdraw all her troops from south Korea at once, she will be able to do so by stages.
Secondly, the barrier of division must be removed and free travel and a full-scale open-door policy effected between the north and the south.
Removing the barrier that divides the territory and the nation and ensuring free travel and a full-scale open-door policy between the north and south are the fundamental conditions for achieving national reconciliation and unity and for reunifying the country. It is only when the barrier of division is pulled down and fellow countrymen can travel freely north and south, meet one another to share feelings of brotherly love and see with their own eyes the realities of the north and south that they can strengthen their will to reunify the beautiful land of three thousand ri which has been artificially divided, to shape a bright future for the country and to commit themselves to the reunification movement with greater vigour.
We will warmly welcome the visit to the north of broad sections of people and social figures from different sections in south Korea and give a hearty welcome from our feelings of kinship to our fellow countrymen from the south, fully ensuring their personal safety. We will also allow the people of the north to visit the south without any restraint and provide them with every convenience.
The south Korean authorities are now claiming that they welcome free travel and a full-scale open-door policy, but they are preventing the south Korean people and social figures from different sections from visiting the north and are punishing as criminals those who have been to the north with the noble desire to reunify the country. If the south Korean authorities really wish to help towards national reconciliation and the country’s reunification, they must begin by pulling down the concrete barrier they themselves have built, then abolish the evil laws which hinder contact and reunion for national reunification and take practical steps to effect free travel and a full-scale open-door policy.
Thirdly, the north and the south must develop their foreign relations on the principle of creating an international climate favourable for the self-determined, peaceful reunification of the country.
The Korean question is a product of historical international relations. The division of Korea was caused by international relations and the delay in Korea ’s reunification is also due to continuing interference and obstructive manoeuvres by foreign forces. The way the north and the south develop their international relations and the stand and attitude adopted by the countries concerned towards the Korean question are important matters of principle in achieving Korea ’s reunification.
In their foreign relations the north and the south must always attach prime importance to the common interests of the nation and develop these relations so as to create a favourable international climate for preventing the perpetuation of national division and hastening national reunification. In the international arena the north and the south must avoid confrontation and competition which damage the nation’s dignity and which allow foreign forces to profit. They must team up with each other to defend common national interests and bring honour to the nation.
Those countries which are concerned about the Korean question must also feel their responsibility for the continuing tragedy of division in Korea and make a proper contribution to finding a solution to the Korean question. The United States, as the country which is directly responsible for the current situation in Korea, must play a positive role in realizing Korea’s reunification, and the other countries concerned, too, must not follow the divisive policy of the United States or be implicated in it, but maintain a principled attitude conducive to the reunification of Korea.
The fact that Japan , following the United States , is now obstructing the reunification of Korea shows that she does not repent of the crimes she committed against our nation in the past and that she is repeating her past mistakes in her approach to the Korean question. We must sharpen our vigilance against the revival of Japanese militarism and against the wild scheme of the Japanese militarists to reinvade, having already imposed innumerable misfortunes and disasters on the Korean people and the peoples of many other Asian countries.
The UN, whose mission is to safeguard peace and justice, must help to settle the Korean question peacefully and impartially. It should not allow itself to be used to delay the reunification of Korea . From a desire to put an end to national division and achieve reunification, the Government of the Republic has always maintained that Korea must enter the UN as a unified country. If the north and the south enter the UN separately, it will legitimize the division of Korea internationally and create a further obstacle to national reunification. If the north and the south are to join the UN before Korea ’s reunification is achieved, they must not hold two separate seats but enter it jointly as one member favouring reunification.
Fourthly, we must develop the dialogue for national reunification.
The only way to settle the question of national reunification peacefully and in accordance with the will of the whole nation is to develop this dialogue. Throughout the whole course of the dialogue held between the north and the south it has been evident that it cannot be successful through the efforts of only one side and that it is only when both sides make joint and sincere efforts that it will produce good results.
The dialogue between the north and the south must be dialogue not for maintaining division, but for finding a practical solution to the reunification question. It must not be dialogue which reflects only the will of the authorities in power or any particular sections, but dialogue of the whole nation providing a democratic representation of the will of all political parties, social organizations and people from all social strata. Both parties to the dialogue must approach it with a sincere attitude towards settling the reunification question by uniting and cooperating with each other. They must refrain from clouding the atmosphere of the dialogue or laying artificial obstacles to it.
The Government of the Republic will make every possible effort to see that the north-south dialogue, now in a state of suspension, is resumed and produces good results, and to expand and develop the dialogue for Korea ’s reunification in various forms.
Fifthly, a nationwide united front for the country’s reunification must be formed.
The cause of national reunification is the cause of the entire nation to realize its independence. The motive force of national reunification is the whole Korean nation. Every Korean, whether he or she lives in the north, in the south or abroad, and whether he or she is a worker, peasant, young person or student, statesman, businessman, a man of culture or a religious man—all of them have the noble national duty to contribute all their energy and intelligence to the cause of national reunification as befitting masters of reunification.
The success of the cause of national reunification depends on how the fellow countrymen in the north, in the south and abroad, people from all strata of society, unite and fight. All Koreans must unite on the principle of placing the common interests of the nation above all else, irrespective of their class, ideology, political views and religion. No class and no social section should place their own interests above national interests or set the struggle for social and class interests against the struggle for national reunification.
All the groups and organizations which are fighting for national reunification must cooperate and unite with one another and form a nationwide united front comprising all political parties, social and other organizations and public figures from different strata in the north, the south and abroad.
The patriotic efforts and distinguished service rendered by the people from all walks of life in the noble cause of national reunification will be appreciated highly in the future by the reunified fatherland; after reunification the entire Korean nation should follow the common cause of at all times striving to build a new, prosperous country.
It is a historical inevitability that a nation which has been divided artificially by outside forces will be reunified. All the fellow countrymen in the north, in the south and abroad must unite closely and fight dynamically, full of hope and conviction, and make the 1990s the historic decade of national reunification.