By Our Nation Itself–this is the fundamental principle for achieving the reunification of Korea which Kim Jong Il (1942-2011), eternal Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, clarified at the June 2000 inter-Korean summit meeting, the first of its kind since the division of the country. It is the main tenet of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration that was adopted as a result of the summit talks.
This principle calls for the north and south of Korea to settle the issue of national reunification independently through the concerted efforts of the Korean people who are responsible for it.
The principle crystallizes Kim Jong Il’s ideal of independence.
To resolve the issue of national reunification independently and by the efforts of the Korean nation itself was his consistent standpoint. The Korean nation who had lived on the same territory was divided into two owing to the self-seeking foreign forces and in the wake of the GIs’ landing in south Korea. They still suffer the tragedy of national division. The neighbouring countries responsible for Korea’s division have interfered in the reunification issue and placed obstacles in the way of resolving it, obviously because of the geopolitical position of the Korean peninsula. Such being the case, the Korean people cannot reunify their country unless they reject foreign intervention and maintain the principle of national independence.
In several of his works such as Let Us Carry Out the Great Leader Comrade Kim Il Sung’s Instructions for National Reunification, Kim Jong Il stressed that Korea’s reunification must be achieved on the principle of national independence. The above summit meeting and the resultant joint declaration were a fruition of his bold decision and ideal of independence.
The principle of By Our Nation Itself represents his lofty intention and programme for achieving national unity.
He, who held in his childhood that one plus one makes a larger one, elucidated that achieving the unity of the entire nation is the key to reunifying the country. In the late 1990s when the atmosphere of mistrust and confrontation was prevailing in the Korean peninsula, he opened a broad avenue for national reunification by setting out the five-point policy for great national unity. He valued the common interests of the nation and stated his patriotic standpoint that he would join hands with anyone who wishes independent reunification of the country, irrespective of differences in ideology and ideals, political views and religious beliefs, classes and social strata. And he ensured that the aforesaid joint declaration made clear that the north and the south would pool their efforts, before adopting proactive measures to this end.
As a result, a new era of national independence and national unity was opened up. Exchanges and cooperation between the north and the south were promoted and the national trend towards peace and independent reunification mounted more than ever before. Impressed by Kim Jong Il’s ennobling love for the nation, numerous compatriots at home and abroad, including Jong Ju Yong, honorary chairman of the Hyundai Business Group, rendered an outstanding contribution to promoting the national reunification movement.
The prospect of Korea’s reunification is bright, with Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un upholding Kim Jong Il’s principle of By Our Nation Itself. The day of Korea being reunified is not far off.