Letter to the National Symposium to Mark the 50th Anniversary of
the Historic Joint Conference of Representatives of Political Parties
and Public Organizations in North and South Korea
April 18, Juche87 (1998)
We have recently observed the 5th anniversary of the publication of the Ten-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation for the Reunification of the Country and soon will greet the 50th anniversary of the historic Joint Conference of Representatives of Political Parties and Public Organizations in North and South Korea.
The north-south joint conference, which was proposed by the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung and held under his guidance in Pyongyang in April Juche 37 (1948), was a historic national event to secure the destiny of the country and nation, by realizing the great unity of the entire nation under the banner of reunification and patriotism. At that time there was the danger that the division of the nation would be perpetuated because of the machinations of the US imperialists and their stooges who were trying to hold a “separate election” and establish a “separate government” in south Korea. The great Comrade Kim Il Sung convened the north-south joint conference, succeeded in uniting different political parties and groups as well as the patriotic forces of different sections of the population in the north and the south, rendering remarkable services to the noble cause of realizing the sovereignty, independence and reunification of the country.
In the extremely complex political situation in the years immediately after liberation, the representatives of nearly all the political parties and public organizations and even die-hard anti-communist nationalists in south Korea with the exception of a handful of traitors to the nation participated in the broad national conference. They reached a unanimous agreement and launched a nationwide patriotic struggle. This was a brilliant fruition of the great leader’s policy of independent national reunification and of his idea of great national unity as well as the first historic victory of the patriotic forces of reunification. The April north-south joint conference clearly showed that communists, nationalists and various other political forces and different sections of the population could get united in the struggle for the common cause of the nation, regardless of difference in ideology, ideals, political views and religious beliefs.
It also demonstrated that the independent and peaceful reunification of the country could be realized through north-south harmony and the unity of the entire nation. The north-south joint conference became a reality thanks to the great leader’s painstaking efforts and his guidance. It will continue to be remembered for ever as a patriotic conference that demonstrated the great unity of our nation. On the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the conference and all its achievements shall inspire all the Koreans in the north, south and abroad to work harder for national unity and reunification with enthusiasm, confidence and courage.
The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung clarified the question of nation in a fresh light on the basis of the Juche idea in his early years, advanced the original idea of great national unity and brilliantly applying it throughout the history of the struggle for national liberation, the building of a new state and the reunification of the country, set a noble example of great national unity.
The great leader’s idea of great national unity encourages all classes of society to unite solidly to safeguard and realize national independence by placing the common desire and interests of the nation above everything else regardless of difference in ideology and ideals, political views and religious beliefs, property status and social positions.
The Juche idea scientifically elucidated for the first time the law of the development of the nation and the basis of national unity. The country and nation are the home of people as well as the basic unit for the people to shape their destiny. Since the people live and shape their destiny within the unit of the nation-state, the destiny of the members of the nation is inseparably linked with the destiny of the nation, and the basic question in shaping the nation’s destiny boils down to safeguarding and realizing national independence. Nobody can live separately from his country and nation, and no class and no section of the nation can shape its destiny properly unless the independence of the nation is ensured. A nation has its traits that have been shaped and consolidated historically as well as its common desire and interests that transcend the difference of classes and strata. The national traits and common interests constitute the basis of national unity on which to bind different classes and strata of the nation in a broad spectrum. The great leader’s idea of great national unity is a thorough idea of national independence, a noble idea of patriotism and an idea of a broadest national unity—an application of the Juche idea to the question of the nation.
The question of national unity is all the more urgent in view of the unique traits of our nation and characteristics of the historical development of our country. Our nation, as a homogeneous one with time-honoured history and culture, is highly patriotic and strong in esprit de corps. One time in the past, however, our nation suffered the misfortune of losing its sovereignty because of the struggle for power among the corrupt and incompetent feudal rulers and as a result of their sycophant, traitorous acts. In subsequent years, too, the nationalist movement and the early communist movement failed because of factional strife and sycophancy. The great leader’s idea of great national unity is an outstanding idea that shows the absolutely correct way of preserving and highly displaying the excellence of our national traits, putting an end to the shameful history of national suffering and achieving the sovereignty and independence of the country and national prosperity. The Juche-orientated idea of great national unity elucidated by the respected Comrade Kim Il Sung, the author of the great Juche idea, ardent patriot, and man of broad calibre and magnanimity, provided our nation with a powerful ideological and spiritual weapon for achieving the great unity of the entire nation and for independently shaping the destiny of the country and nation. The Juche-orientated idea of great national unity is an original idea that raised the question of nation and the question of national unity in a fresh light and comprehensively and profoundly clarified them by reflecting the main trend of our times when all the oppressed nations and the peoples of all countries have achieved liberation and independence or are heading for independence. It is a great idea that has provided the world people with a correct guideline. It is the banner of struggle for victory in the cause of anti-imperialist independence. The respected leader’s elucidation of the Juche-orientated theory of nation and the idea of the great unity of the entire nation, which gave a new scientific clarification to the question of the nation and the question of national unity, constitutes one of his great ideological and theoretical achievements and a pre-eminent contribution to global independence and to humanity’s cause of independence.
The great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung not only advanced the idea of great national unity based on the Juche idea, but also worked with great pains all his life for the unity of our nation. During the anti-Japanese revolutionary struggle the great leader united all the patriotic forces from all walks of life under the banner of resistance against Japan and led the anti-Japanese national liberation struggle to victory. The Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland organized in this period was the anti-Japanese national united front which embraced the broad patriotic forces—communists, nationalists, workers, peasants, intellectuals, youths, students and even conscientious religious men and capitalists; this organization struck root deep in vast areas at home and abroad. In the course of the just struggle of all the anti-Japanese patriotic forces for national liberation under the guidance of the great leader, valuable experience was gained in achieving national unity and fine traditions were established in this work.
After liberation the great leader raised the slogan, “The entire nation must unite, those with strength contribute strength, those with knowledge devote knowledge and those with money offer money to the building of a new country” and encouraged the people from all strata of society who love the country and nation to come out as one for the building of a democratic, independent and sovereign state.
Owing to territorial and national division, the great unity of the entire nation became the most serious and urgent question vital to the destiny of the country and nation. From the first days of national division the great leader wisely guided the struggle to achieve great national unity under the banner of national reunification and thus developed the national reunification movement into a nationwide movement. He opened the way to dialogues and negotiations between the north and south, which had been tightly closed to each other and advanced the three principles of national reunification—independence, peaceful reunification and a great national unity—laying a solid foundation for national unity and national reunification. He guided the different sections of our compatriots in the north, south and abroad along the patriotic road to national unity and national reunification.
The Ten-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation for the Reunification of the Country written by the great leader in the last days of his life is the summary of his idea of great national unity and his practical experience as well as an immortal document for great national unity. This programme elucidates the fundamental principles and the ideological basis to be maintained in achieving the great unity of the nation and the specific tasks and ways of implementing them.
The idea of great national unity, the ten-point programme of the great unity of the whole nation advanced by the great leader, the valuable experience he gained in his work for national unity and the brilliant results of his distinguished services are the eternal wealth of our country and nation and the solid foundation for great national unity and national reunification. Achieving great national unity and reunifying the country in our generation by defending and faithfully inheriting the great idea of national unity, brilliant achievements, valuable experience and traditions left by the great leader is our unshakable determination and will.
True to the great leader’s idea of great national unity and his ten-point programme of the great unity of the whole nation, we must work for the great unity of all the Koreans in the north, south and abroad and achieve the independent, peaceful reunification of the country by the united efforts of the nation.
Our nation is the motive force of national reunification, which means reconnecting the severed blood ties between the north and the south and realizing national unity. Without reconciliation between north and south and great national unity, the independent, peaceful reunification of the country would be inconceivable. The great unity of the entire nation means national reunification. Today, the great unity of our nation and national reunification have become a more urgent question than before. In view of the situation at home and abroad, the fundamental interests of our nation and the trend of the times, it is the right time for us to save the destiny of the country and nation through the great unity of the entire nation and demonstrate the dignity and honour of a reunified country and one nation.
Putting an end to the tragedy of territorial division and national split that has lasted over half a century and achieving national unity and the country’s reunification are the vital demands and the supreme task of the nation that must not be delayed any longer. The longer the division remained, the greater the misfortunes and sufferings of our nation would be, and the greater the risks of the nation becoming heterogeneous. Further distrust and confrontation between the north and the south might invite national calamity. The foreign forces, which do not like Korea’s reunification, are now fanning confrontation between the north and the south in an attempt to fish in troubled waters; the imperialists are intensifying their plot of dominating the world under the pretext of “globalization”. If our country remained in confrontation, divided into north and south, in such a complex and threatening situation as today, our nation would be unable to free itself from foreign domination and subjugation, playing into the hands of foreign forces, and might be reduced to colonial slavery. Nobody with a Korean soul can shut his eyes to national unity and national reunification. Trying to delay the solution to the reunification problem, shutting his eyes to it, amounts to an attempt to perpetuate division. Our nation must overcome all difficulties and obstacles standing in the way of national reunification, achieve the great unity of the nation as soon as possible, and reunify the country. We are sure that the country can be reunified.
It is not two different nations that stand in confrontation in the north and south of Korea, but it is one nation on the same land that is divided artificially by foreign forces. The Korean nation is a homogeneous nation that has inherited the same blood and lived in same territory speaking the same language for thousands of years. All the Koreans in the north, south and abroad belong to the same nation with the blood and soul of the Korean nation and are linked inseparably with the same national interests and the common national psychology and sentiments. No force can ever split into two forever the single Korean nation that has been formed and developed through a long history, nor can it obliterate our nation and our national traits.
The present division of our nation into north and south is a temporary misfortune and a tragedy in the context of 5,000 years of its history. The reunion of our nation that has been divided by foreign forces is an inevitable trend of our nation’s history and the law of national development.
In the past, the Japanese imperialists resorted to every conceivable scheme to annihilate our nation, occupying our country and enforcing the most heinous colonial rule. However, the Korean revolutionaries and patriots launched a bloody struggle to save the country and the nation, and finally destroyed Japanese imperialism and liberated their country. After the defeat of Japanese imperialism, the US imperialists occupied south Korea, lording it over there, trampling upon our national sovereignty, and trying tenaciously to keep our nation divided forever. But the spirit of the nation remains alive among the south Korean people. Broad sections of the people in south Korea particularly the young people and students continue to fight bravely against the domination of foreign forces and the treachery of the south Korean rulers. This is a manifestation of the national indignation of south Korean brothers who resist tyranny and humiliation and of the unbreakable spirit of our nation.
The national trend towards reunification is mounting higher with each passing day. It would be impossible to break or check our nation’s will and desire to reunify the country through the unity of the entire nation. We must redouble our efforts to achieve the great unity of the entire nation and the independent and peaceful reunification of the country, full of confidence and optimism.
Great national unity must be based thoroughly on the principle of national independence.
National independence is the lifeblood of a nation; safeguarding independence is a fundamental guarantee for a nation’s existence and development. Only when we adhere to the principle of national independence can we defend the national rights and interests, shape the nation’s destiny independently in keeping with the will and demand of our nation, and fully exercise our sovereignty on the international arena and develop the relations with foreign countries on the principles of complete equality and mutual benefit. National independence is the source of national dignity and honour, pride and self-confidence, as well as the indomitable will and spirit of the nation. If a nation loses its independence and fails to get rid of domination and subjugation by foreign forces, it will be unable to avoid humiliation and insult and being a ruined nation with its rights and interests, its traits and dignity downtrodden.
The principle of national independence is the key to the question of nation and the very basis of the great unity of the entire nation. It requires that the nation should fight in unity against domination and subjugation by foreign forces and for its independence. Our struggle for the great unity of the entire nation is precisely a struggle to achieve our national sovereignty across the whole country, a struggle to accomplish the cause of national reunification by our own national force, and ensure the independent development of the reunified country and the common prosperity of the nation. Both great national unity and national reunification are aimed at preserving the independence of the country and the nation.
The principle of national independence is a touchstone that distinguishes patriotism from treachery to the nation, the line of reunification from the line of division. Claiming for independence and north-south reconciliation and unity while pursuing the policy of dependence on foreign forces is nothing but empty talk. Just as patriotism is incompatible with treachery to the nation, so is national independence incompatible with dependence on foreign forces. He who truly desires north-south reconciliation, national unity and national reunification must follow the road of national independence, not the path of dependence on foreign forces.
National unity is always aimed at defending and realizing national independence; it is inconceivable to talk about national unity apart from the principle of national independence. Only when we achieve the great unity of the entire nation on the basis of the principle of national independence, can our nation become a true master of its destiny, a strong driving and decisive force of national reunification and national prosperity. We must categorically oppose and reject sycophancy to great powers and dependence on foreign forces, and achieve great national unity on the basis of the principle of national independence.
The entire nation must unite under the banner of patriotism, the banner of national reunification.
Loving one’s country and nation and cherishing one’s national traits are the common psychology and sentiment of the members of the nation. Ours is a nation with strong national character, cherishing ardent love for the country and fellow countrymen and treasuring and inheriting the national soul. Our nation’s patriotic spirit and inherent traits form a strong ideological and spiritual basis of the great unity of the whole nation. Moreover, to our nation that has suffered all types of misfortune and pains caused by national division, national reunification is a supreme national demand, and the banner of national reunification is the banner of common national struggle, the banner of great unity of the whole nation. The entire nation must achieve great unity for the great common cause of the nation, on the basis of the inherent traits of the Korean nation.
There are a variety of differences, including those in ideology and system between the north and south that have been kept divided for over half a century. However, the national community as one nation is far greater than them. The demands and interests of different classes and strata of the nation are different from one another; but the primary task facing our nation today is national reunification, and we must subordinate everything to the cause of national reunification. If we regard the difference in ideology and system between north and south as absolute, and put aside the national community and the common interests of the nation while bringing the interests of individual classes and strata to the fore, we can achieve neither great national unity nor national reunification.
All the Koreans in the north, south and abroad must unite closely under the banner of patriotism, the banner of national reunification, irrespective of their difference in ideology and system, political views and religion, transcending the interests of classes and strata. All the members of the nation—workers, farmers, intellectuals, youths and students, the urban petty-bourgeoisie, national capitalists, politicians, economists, men of culture, religious men and soldiers—must fight in unity for national reunification, and make an active contribution to the cause of national reunification.
It is our steadfast standpoint and consistent policy to embrace and unite all the people who cherish the soul of the nation and all the people who love the country and nation, irrespective of their ideology and system, class and stratum, for the great unity of the entire nation. Our all-embracing politics is the politics of noble love for humanity that embraces everybody with loving care. It is the most magnanimous and patriotic politics that unites all the classes and strata of the nation rock-solid for the common cause of the country and nation. We will invariably carry on the all-embracing politics on the road to national unity and country’s reunification, unite with anybody with national conscience and aspiration to the country’s reunification and advance hand in hand in the same rank for the country’s reunification. People who have taken a wrong path in the past can repent of their mistakes and embark on the road of patriotism. On the principle of asking no question about the past, we will approach with generosity those who went the wrong way against the nation in the past, but now truly repent of their mistakes and try to contribute to the cause of national reunification, and will advance with them for national reunification. We will also unite with people from upper classes in power, figures from the ruling party and the opposition party, big capitalists and generals under the banner of great unity of the nation, if they value the common interests of the nation and want the reunification of the country.
Once we join hands with people, we will cooperate with them not only on the road to national reunification but also in the struggle for the prosperity of the reunified country and will highly evaluate, in the name of the nation, those who have made contribution to national reunification.
The north and south must improve their relations in order to achieve the great unity of our nation.
To replace the relations of distrust and confrontation between north and south with those of trust and reconciliation is a pressing requirement for national unity and national reunification. The successive south Korean authorities have obstructed harmony between the north and the south with their anti-north confrontation policy that regards the fellow countrymen as enemies and foments hostility and discord among the nation and hindered the great unity of the nation in every way.
The south Korean authorities’ anti-north confrontation policy is the root that gives rise to misunderstanding and distrust between the north and south. It is the stumbling block to the improvement of the north-south relations and national unity. If the south Korean authorities continue to pursue the hostile anti-north confrontation policy, it will be impossible to create an atmosphere of trust and reconciliation between the north and south. It will only increase tension and bring about an irretrievable result. When different ideologies and systems exist in the north and the south, denial of the other side’s ideology and system will make it impossible to avoid confrontation. The north and the south, on the basis of recognizing the existence of the different ideologies and systems, must achieve harmony, promote co-existence, co-prosperity and common interests and open the way to national reunification.
Whoever is hostile to his fellow countrymen and pursues the anti-north confrontation policy with the backing of foreign forces and in cooperation with them, will be cursed and condemned by the people and cannot escape the judgement of history. This can be illustrated by the wretched ends of successive rulers of south Korea. If the south Korean authorities do not want to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, they should learn a lesson from their ends and make a resolute decision to break with the outmoded anti-north confrontation. If the south Korean authorities change their policy and convert the anti-north confrontation policy into reconciliation policy of alliance with the north, the relations between the north and the south will develop into those of trust and reconciliation and a new phase be opened for national unity and national reunification. The south Korean authorities must change their anti-north confrontation policy into reconciliation policy of alliance with the north from a patriotic standpoint and take the road of national reconciliation and unity. In south Korea the fascist laws and machinery that obstruct the unity of the nation and the reunification of the country must be abolished and all sorts of political barriers removed.
Our position in relation to the south Korean authorities is clear. We were against the successive rulers of south Korea not because they were in power. We were opposed to their policy of dependence on foreign forces, their policy against reunification, and their treachery to the country and nation. If the south Korean authorities take the patriotic stand, the stand of unity in alliance with the north, we will work with them to shape the destiny of the nation.
For the great unity of our nation, we must reject domination and interference of the foreign forces and fight against the traitors to the nation, the anti-reunification forces, who are in collusion with the foreign forces.
Domination and interference of the foreign forces is the major obstacle to the unity of our nation and the reunification of the country. Our nation has been divided into north and south by the foreign forces, and the country and nation have not yet been reunified because of their domination and interference. Dividing and ruling other nations is a stereotyped method used by imperialists. In disregard of the demand of our nation for national reunification and running against the trend of the age of independence, the United States is pursuing as ever its ambition to keep our nation divided forever and rule it. It is aggravating the situation by fomenting antagonism and discord among our nation, instigating the south Korean authorities to confrontation against their fellow countrymen, continuing to keep its troops in south Korea and ceaselessly stepping up war exercises and military buildup.
Under the instigation and manipulation of the foreign forces, the successive south Korean rulers have built the wall of division, intensified the political and military confrontation between the north and south, put down the south Korean people, who seek independence, democracy and national reunification, and resorted to every scheme to divide and disintegrate the patriotic, democratic force that fights for reunification.
Without fighting against the domination and interference of the foreign forces and the divisive force at home and abroad, it would be impossible to realize unity between north and south, the great unity of the nation and the reunification of the country.
Through a nationwide struggle against the domination and interference of the foreign forces, all the Koreans in the north, south and abroad must root up the cause of obstruction to national unity and reunification. They must also launch a resolute struggle against the anti-reunification policies and the schemes for national division pursued by the traitors to the nation, who collaborate with the foreign forces for their personal wealth and power with no regard for the destiny of the country and nation.
The patriotic, democratic force that fights for reunification must heighten their vigilance against the cunning machinations of the divisive elements aimed at wedge-driving and disintegration and counter them by the force of unity. All the political parties, organizations and public figures and people from various social strata who love the country and nation and seek reunification must regard the great cause of national unity and reunification as a supreme demand, strengthen their unity, continue to expand the patriotic ranks for reunification and organize them on a solid basis.
For the great unity of the nation all the Koreans in the north, south and abroad must visit one another, hold contacts, promote dialogue and strengthen solidarity.
Promoting wide-ranging visits, contacts, dialogues and solidarity among our compatriots is an important way to achieve the great unity of the nation. Even though there is difference in ideologies, ideals, political views and religious beliefs within our nation, the fellow countrymen can build up mutual understanding and trust and pool their will and efforts for the common objective of the nation if they all freely travel, hold contacts and dialogues and strengthen solidarity. Cherishing the noble ideals of great national unity and national reunification, all our compatriots in the north, south and abroad must strive to realize travel, contact, dialogue and organizational solidarity.
Dialogue between the north and south must serve national unity and reunification. No one must make use of the dialogue to pursue dishonest political objectives or to perpetuate the division of the country. The dialogue must be held on the principle of giving precedence to the common interests of the nation, eliminating distrust and confrontation between the north and south and subordinating everything to reunifying the country.
The dialogue must not be the monopoly of a few men in authorities or of a particular class or section. It must be an all-embracing, nationwide dialogue that can pool the opinions of all political parties, groups and social sections. The dialogue must be participated in by the representatives of all political parties and social organizations including the authorities, and public figures and people from various walks of life in the north and south and the overseas compatriots. Bilateral and multilateral dialogues and negotiations of various forms must be promoted.
The great unity of the entire nation will be realized and consolidated in the course of developing joint actions in solidarity in the struggle for national reunification. All the political parties, organizations and fellow countrymen in the north, south and abroad must support and keep pace with one another, taking joint action in the effort for the reunification of the country.
The struggle of our nation for the independent and peaceful reunification of the country is now entering a new historical phase. The road to reunification is still beset with many obstacles and difficulties, but we are optimistic about its future. Our nation is one, and so is our country. Our nation will achieve great unity under the banner of national reunification without fail.
I am convinced that the whole nation in the north, south and abroad will realize the historic cause of national reunification through united effort in our generation, true to the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung’s instructions for national reunification.