Chairman of the National Defence Commission of DPR. Korea Kim Jong Il had a talk with the senior officials of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea on July 14, 1972 over the importance of implementing the three principles of Korea’s reunification.
The following is the full text of his talk:
“Let Us Struggle Resolutely to Implement the Three Principles of National Reunification”
The North-South Joint Statement, which was published on the fourth of this month, is getting a prolonged and hearty response from the public at home and abroad. Everyone in the north and south, and overseas compatriots longing for the reunification of the country, are in a state of great excitement and delight. They all ardently support and welcome the North-South Joint Statement and are eager to reunify the country at the earliest date by putting into effect the three principles of national reunification proposed by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung. Many governments, political parties and social organizations throughout the world are expressing full support for the North-South Joint Statement.
The North-South Joint Statement is meeting with such a hearty welcome and support from all Koreans and the progressive people of the world because it correctly reflects our nation’s earnest desire for reunification and the world’s wish to see a fair settlement to the Korean question. Nearly 30 years of national division have brought the Korean people untold misery and suffering and hindered a uniform development of the country. It threatens peace in Asia and the rest of the world. The high-level talks between north and south resulted in the publication of the North-South Joint Statement, which provides the basis for easing tensions in our country and for a peaceful settlement of the question of reunification, brightening the prospects for the reunification of Korea. The publication of the North-South Joint Statement is indeed a historic event that gives the entire nation hope of reunification and demonstrates to the world its will to reunify the country.
For all this, we must note another aspect of the situation. At this time, when the whole country is bubbling over with enthusiasm for reunification and the atmosphere of national unity is mounting as a result of the publication of the joint statement, alarming moves are being made in south Korea against the fundamental spirit of the joint statement. Even though the south Korean authorities agreed to the three principles of independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity, and signed the North-South Joint Statement with the three principles as its main content, they turned on their heels after the publication of the joint statement and spoke against the statement, saying that they could not entrust their destiny to a piece of paper, and the longer the US occupation of south Korea lasted, the better. They have not stopped slandering the northern half of Korea and continue to repress the south Korean people, who are struggling to reunify the country.
Such words and deeds on the part of the south Korean authorities cannot be regarded as accidental. When called to account for their improper words and actions during the meeting between the north-south liaison delegates, held at Panmunjom yesterday, the delegate for the south is said to have made an excuse, saying that they had reflected upon what they said and begging our side to understand the complex internal situation in south Korea. We must not believe the excuse of those who try to keep the country divided, nor must we be deceived by their tricks. Their words and actions have thrown cold water over the rapidly mounting trend of the south Korean people towards the country’s reunification after the publication of the North-South Joint Statement. Furthermore their words indicate their intention to nullify the North-South Joint Statement itself.
We must be highly vigilant against the south Korean rulers who ae engrossed in words and acts contrary to the fundamental spirit of the joint statement. We must see through their scheme clearly and be prepared to counter it. The south Korean authorities have been dead set against a north-south dialogue, clamouring for “unification by prevailing over communism.” Why, then, have they accepted our proposal for negotiations and agreed to the three principles of national reunification? They have not discarded the ambition of “unification by prevailing over communism,” nor do they want the independent, peaceful reunification of the country. We can see that the south Korean authorities have agreed to the three principles of national reunification and signed the North-South Joint Statement mainly for the purpose of gaining time necessary for the cultivation of “real strength” to “defeat communism and reunify the country.” They are employing delaying tactics, knowing that they stand no chance of winning if they challenge us to a fight now, because the socialist force of our Republic is superior to them in politics, the economy and military affairs. In other words, by easing the tension temporarily while negotiating with us and gaining time, they intend to cultivate their “real strength” for “unification by prevailing over communism” with the help of the US and Japanese imperialists. They also pursue a sinister aim of deceiving the south Korean people and further strengthening their reactionary ruling system by creating an impression that they are interested in reunifying the country through the seeming acceptance of the three principles of national reunification.
Since the south Korean authorities are employing double-dealing tactics with an ulterior motive, the struggle to implement the North-South Joint Statement and to realize the independent and peaceful reunification of the country cannot but be long-drawn-out and arduous. We must be ready for a hard struggle against the enemy.
In our struggle for reunification we must direct the main effort to the implementation of the three principles of national reunification put forward by the great leader and confirmed by the North-South Joint Statement.
The greatest success in the recent high-level talks between north and south is that the two sides have reached agreement on the three principles of national reunification set by the leader. The three principles are to settle the question of national reunification independently on the principle of national self-determination, free from foreign interference, to reunify the country peacefully without recourse to armed force, and to promote the great unity of the entire nation by transcending the differences in ideology, ideals and social systems. This is an absolutely correct reunification programme, a common reunification charter that incorporates our nation’s desire and will to reunify the country. Now that the north and the south have agreed on the three principles of national reunification and pledged to implement them before the nation and the people of the world, our people can launch a dynamic struggle to reunify our country, guided by these clear standards and principles. These three principles form the touchstone that distinguishes reunification from division and patriotism from treachery. The three principles, the common reunification programme of the nation, provide us with a solid basis for leading the north-south dialogue in the correct direction, and guided by these principles, we can widen the road to reunification.
We must firmly maintain the three principles of national reunification no matter how difficult and complex the situation in the future, and struggle to reunify the country on these principles. We must wage a relentless campaign against all practices that dampen the fundamental spirit of the three principles or weaken their significance. We cannot yield an inch on these principles. We must closely watch the attitude of the south Korean authorities and prevent them from distorting the three principles or deviating from them with bad intentions.
What is most important in implementing the three principles of national reunification is to uphold the banner of independence, struggle to make the US army withdraw from south Korea and thwart the Japanese militarists’ scheme of reaggression.
The foreign forces now infringing upon the sovereignty of our country and obstructing the country’s reunification are the US imperialist forces, which occupy south Korea, and the Japanese militarist forces, which are attempting to realize their ambition for reaggression in our country. There are no foreign troops in the northern part of Korea. Now that the south Korean authorities have agreed to achieve the country’s reunification independent of foreign forces and free from foreign interference, we must strongly demand the withdrawal of the US troops. Up to now the south Korean rulers insisted on the need for the presence of the US troops in south Korea because of a “threat of southward invasion from the north,” but that excuse does not make sense any longer, since the North-South Joint Statement has confirmed that the country must be reunified peacefully without recourse to armed force. We must demand the south Korean authorities get the US forces out of south Korea to facilitate the independent and peaceful reunification of the country and abrogate all the aggressive and traitorous “treaties” and “agreements,” including the “Korea-US Mutual Defence Treaty” concluded with the United States. In addition, we must urge the south Korean authorities to oppose the reaggressive manoeuvres of Japanese militarism, which has revived under the patronage of US imperialism.
Even though they have agreed to the principle of reunifying the country independent of foreign forces, the south Korean authorities make the preposterous statement that they do not regard the UN as a foreign force and that the “UN Forces” stationed in the “ROK” and the “UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea” are no foreign forces.
Their assertion that the UN is not a foreign force is nothing but a pretext for justifying their obsequious, traitorous policy of dependence on foreign forces. This can be explained in no other way except that it reveals their real intention to cling to foreign forces in disregard of the fundamental principle of reunifying the country independently. We must thoroughly expose the falsehood of their allegation and their true colour as traitors to the nation and severely criticize them for the distortion of the three principles of national reunification.
It is important in implementing the three principles of national reunification to ease military tension and take realistic measures to eliminate the sources of war in our country.
Reunification by means of armed force means fratricide. It conflicts with the interests of our nation and with the wishes of people all over the world. Our Party has consistently maintained that the country should be reunified peacefully and has made all efforts to do so. The aggressive policy of the US imperialists and their lackeys, the south Korean reactionaries, has imposed a three-year-long destructive war upon our people and has kept up military tensions in the postwar years.
In order to ease military tensions and prevent war in our country, the north and the south must sign an agreement to refrain from the use of arms against each other in accordance with the spirit of the North-South Joint Statement. The two sides must also effect a drastic reduction of their armed forces after getting the aggressive US troops, the perpetrators of war, out of south Korea. In addition, they must desist from any action that might aggravate the situation and take positive measures to prevent armed clashes. Unless these practical measures are taken, the declaration of the policy for peaceful national reunification will become empty words.
Although the south Korean authorities have agreed to the three principles of national reunification, it is difficult to believe their commitment to peaceful reunification. As matters now stand, the south Korean authorities are clamouring for the strengthening of what they call an all-out security system, claiming that the dialogue, to be successful, must be backed up by strength. They not only continue to slander the northern half of Korea but also conduct various military exercises in succession along the Military Demarcation Line, such as “emergency mountain exercises,” “training in guerrilla warfare” and “training in river-crossing.” All this uproar in south Korea since the publication of the North-South Joint Statement can only be considered an intentional act aimed at irritating us and aggravating the tension.
One of the three principles of national reunification elucidated in the North-South Joint Statement is the achievement of great national unity through a transcendence of the differences in ideology, ideals and systems.
In accordance with the spirit of the North-South Joint Statement we must demand that the south Korean authorities stop the fascist repression of the south Korean people, the repression being perpetrated under an anti-communist slogan, and democratize south Korean society. Our demand that they democratize south Korean society and ensure the people democratic rights and freedom is not an interference in their affairs, nor a demand that the capitalist system in south Korean be changed to another system. Under the pretext of the “threat of southward invasion from the north,” the south Korean fascist rulers last year declared a state of emergency, arrested and imprisoned a large number of patriots calling for the country’s reunification, and stepped up the repression of opposition parties. Last year’s state of emergency was aimed at stamping out the reunification spirit, for the fascist clique was alarmed by the tide of peaceful reunification that had quickly risen among the south Korean people since the opening of the preliminary talks between the north and south Korean Red Cross societies. The “threat of southward invasion” is only a pretext for declaring the state of emergency. Since we have clarified on several occasions that we have no intention of invading the south, and have pledged ourselves moreover to peaceful reunification in the North-South Joint Statement this time, the south Korean authorities must naturally abolish the state of emergency they declared under the pretext of a “threat of southward invasion.” They must also stop the repression of the people who demand the country’s reunification, and grant freedom of activity to political parties and social organizations. The principle of great national unity clarified in the North-South Joint Statement means uniting all the people, whether they are communists or nationalists, regardless political affiliations, so long as they want the independent and peaceful reunification of the country. The south Korean authorities must, therefore, abolish their fascist laws, such as the “Anti-Communist Law” and the “National Security Law.” Doing this is the essential requirement for the implementation of the three principles of national reunification and the agreements of the North-South Joint Statement. There is no reason why anyone should object to this requirement or deny it if he wishes to be loyal to the three principles of national reunification and the fundamental spirit of the North-South Joint Statement. However, the south Korean authorities openly say that they cannot abolish the “National Security Law,” and a few days ago they brought to trial the patriots who had devoted themselves to the struggle for national reunification and sentenced some of them to death and others to long imprisonment at a time when the spirit of national unity had risen high as a result of the publication of the North-South Joint Statement. The trial itself was a criminal act, a blatant challenge to the three principles of national reunification.
All the developments since the publication of the North-South Joint Statement show that the south Korean rulers have no will to reunify the country independently and peacefully and that they still hang on to the ambition of “unification by prevailing over communism.” Their agreement to the three principles of national reunification and the North-South Joint Statement is no more than a deception to cloak their ulterior motives.
The aim and intention of the south Korean rulers in employing double-dealing tactics are obvious, but we must make patient efforts to improve north-south relations and achieve the independent and peaceful reunification of the country. We must lash out at the south Korean authorities when they violate the agreements of the North-South Joint Statement, and at the same time strive to widen the door of negotiations, which are now being held with such difficulty, and to develop them further. We must advance the talks between the north and south Korean Red Cross societies that began last year, so that they allay the sufferings of families and relatives, who are scattered over north and south due to the division of the country, and help towards hastening the country’s reunification.
What is important in the north-south negotiations is to expand and develop political negotiations. Before the high-level talks between north and south were held, the south Korean authorities were against holding political negotiations. Insisting on the so-called “stage-by-stage approach” in solving the question of reunification, they argued that humanitarian exchange, such as the correspondence by mail, should be realized first, then economic and cultural exchange, and finally political negotiations between north and south for the settlement of the reunification question. But their “stage-by-stage approach” came to nothing as the high-level talks were held between north and south this time and as the North-South Joint Statement, the keynote of which is the three principles of national reunification, was published. Thus political negotiations have already started prior to humanitarian, economic and cultural exchange. In accordance with the agreements reached between the two sides, we must form and put into operation the north-south coordination commission at the earliest date, and through it discuss and settle important questions arising in the improvement of north-south relations and in reunifying the country. We must bring the north-south dialogue to a successful conclusion on the principle of finding common ground between the two sides and of relegating their differences to the background. We must do this in the common interests of the nation.
An important matter in the political negotiations is to negotiate with the south Korean rulers and at the same time deal with opposition parties in south Korea gradually so as to develop the north-south political negotiations on a multilateral basis. Only through the development of multilateral political negotiations can we make the struggle for the country’s reunification an undertaking of the whole nation and prevent the south Korean rulers from violating or fooling the three principles of national reunification and the North-South Joint Statement. We must develop a wide-ranging north-south exchange in the fields of the economy, sports and culture, and realize contacts and exchange in every possible field so that as many people as possible can travel between the two parts of the country. People’s free travel, close contacts and extensive negotiations between north and south alone can remove distrust and misunderstanding resulting from the long separation and widen the range of understanding and further promote national unity. Mutual contacts and visits will also give people a better knowledge of the situation in the north and the south, as well as a better understanding of the question of the country’s reunification.
The struggle to reunify the country independently and peacefully by implementing the three principles of national reunification is a serious one between patriotism ad treachery, between the spirit of national independence and the idea of dependence on foreign forces. In view of the fact that the south Korean rulers are clamouring about the “confrontation with dialogue” even after they agreed to the three principles of national reunification, we must prepare ourselves well for coping with their provocation and their policy of confrontation. Experience shows that it is the stereotyped trick of the enemy to stir up conflict and step up tension whenever the tide is high for national reunification or whenever there are signs of tensions relaxing between north and south.
Today all the developments require that we further intensify the education of Party members and other working people and prepare them well politically and ideologically. We must not sit back in the thought that the country will be reunified smoothly because the North-South Joint Statement has been published. When collaboration is effected between north and south in future and visits and economic and cultural exchange are realized, many south Korean people will come to see the north and people in the north will go to see the south. It is clear that the enemy, taking this opportunity, will resort to every conceivable scheme to spread bourgeois ideas and establish the capitalist system in the north. It would be a mistake if you were to think that no bourgeois idea could infiltrate into our ranks and no capitalist element revive in our society because all the people in the north are armed with the revolutionary idea of our Party and solidly united around the Party. You must bear in mind that bourgeois ideas can seep through and capitalist elements come back to life if we relax and neglect ideological education for Party members and other working people, and that our revolutionary achievements may be jeopardized in this process. We must further intensify the ideological education of Party members and other working people, as required by the present situation, and arm them thoroughly with the Juche idea, the monolithic ideology of our Party, and rally the masses closely behind the Party by working properly among the masses of all strata.
We must also further increase the economic power of the country and bring the advantages of our socialist system into full play by accelerating the construction of socialist economy. The socialist system established in the north is incomparably superior to the capitalist system. The foreigners who visit our country unanimously agree that our socialist system is superior and even the south Korean delegates to the preliminary Red Cross talks admitted its superiority. However, we must not rest content with this. Our system is good but we must work harder in several fields in order to bring the advantages of socialism into fully play. In particular, we must further strengthen the material foundation of our society and provide the people with a richer life by building up the socialist economy so that the excellence of our socialist system is visible to everyone.
In order to realize the three principles of national reunification and speed up the independent and peaceful reunification of the country, we must see to it that a large percentage of the world’s public gives active support and encouragement to the reunification of our nation and denounces the obstructive manoeuvrings of the US and other imperialists.
The United States stands behind the south Korean rulers, who speak and act against the fundamental spirit of the North-South Joint Statement and the content of the agreement. The US imperialists verbally welcome the North-South Joint Statement, but in fact they are not happy about the progress in the north-south dialogue and the rising tide in favour of the country’s reunification. With a view to getting out of their difficult internal and external situation, the US imperialists have proposed the “Nixon Doctrine” to employ the tactics of letting the Asians fight among themselves in Asia and the Koreans among themselves in Korea. They also demand that the south Korean rulers maintain the state of division, even though they are negotiating with the north. This is clear from the attitude they have been taking since the publication of the North-South Joint Statement. No sooner had the North-South Joint Statement been published than the US imperialists blatantly disclosed their intention to continue with the military occupation of south Korea. They said that they would go on with their plan of modernizing the south Korean army in spite of the north-south talks for peaceful reunification, and that they had no plan of reducing the US troops in south Korea.
We must give worldwide publicity to our Party’s line of reunifying the country independently and peacefully and expose the manoeuvres of aggression and interference of the US imperialists, who oppose the reunification of Korea and intend to continue their occupation of south Korea. Because of the US imperialists’ and their stooges’ deceitful fuss about “southward invasion” and their misleading propaganda against us, many people in the world lack a clear understanding of our Party’s policy of independent and peaceful reunification. They believe us to intend “reunifying the country through communization” by force of arms. We must give wide publicity to the three principles of national reunification and the North-South Joint Statement among the people of the world, so that they clearly understand that it is none other than the US imperialists and their stooges who increase tensions in our country and obstruct the independent and peaceful reunification of Korea. We must strive to compel the withdrawal of the US troops of aggression occupying south Korea in the name of the UN, and work for the disbandment of the “UN Commission for the Unification and Rehabilitation of Korea.” We must step up our external information work and foreign activities to encourage the progressive people of the world to bring pressure upon the US imperialists to get their aggressive troops out of south Korea and prevent them from interfering in the reunification of our country.
We must see that the world’s progressive people guard against the Japanese militarists’ scheme of reinvading south Korea. The Japanese militarists want our country to remain divided into south and north for ever and they are simply watching for their chance to reinvade south Korea. The Japanese militarists will try to take south Korea again by hook or by crook if the US imperialists are driven out of there. We must reveal all the barbarous aggressive acts the Japanese militarists perpetrated in the past and expose their ambitions of reaggression in order to isolate them from the people of the world and prevent them from creeping into south Korea once again.
It is the most important and pressing task for the Party and the people to struggle in order to hasten the independent and peaceful reunification of the country. We must give Party members and other working people a profound understanding of the correctness of the three principles of national reunification put forward by the leader and the independent and peaceful reunification line of our Party, so as to encourage all of our people to make dynamic efforts for their implementation.