Kim Jong Il greets Kim Dae-jung with a handshake
Milestone for Korea’s Reunification
Twelve years have passed since the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration, a milestone for Korea’s reunification, was made public.
Notwithstanding the elapse of the years, the basic ideal of the declaration, By Our Nation Itself, still remains as an invariable banner for Korea’s reunification.
Spirit of National Independence
The ideal of By Our Nation Itself constitutes an invariable banner for Korea’s reunification because it runs through with the thoroughgoing spirit of national independence.
The division of Korea was caused by not contradiction within the Korean nation but by the foreign forces.
The US that occupied south Korea immediately after the Second World War has pursued permanent stationing of its troops in south Korea with an ambition to seize supremacy in the whole of Korea and the Asian continent. This is why even today, when the Cold War was terminated and the Berlin Walls was pulled down, concrete walls still run across the middle of the Korean Peninsula and serious obstacles remain in the way of Korea’s reunification.
The 60-odd-year long history of Korea’s division shows that unless an end was put to the domination and intervention by foreign forces, independent development and reunification of the entire Korean nation can never be achieved.
Reunification of Korea is a matter that must be settled by the Korean nation itself by means of its own efforts and in conformity with its own opinion and interest, in other words, a matter related with the nation’s right to self-determination. There cannot be any reason or pretext for foreign forces to poke their nose into the matter. That is why it is said that Korea’s reunification should be achieved by our nation itself.
The principle of national independence expressed in such plain words as By Our Nation Itself cannot be but most reasonable and just in view of the actual situation of the Korean Peninsula which was divided by the foreign forces, of the essence of the matter of Korea’s reunification which is of re-linking the severed veins of the blood of the nation, and of the universal ideal of humanity who aspire after ending the domination and intervention of the foreign countries and achieving independent development.
Spirit of Great National Unity
The ideal of By Our Nation Itself constitutes an invariable banner of Korea’s reunification because it reflects the spirit of great national unity, a prerequisite and basic method of reunification.
The eye-opening reality witnessed in the Korean Peninsula after the adoption of the declaration testifies to the fact that reunification is quite possible if the entire Korean nation achieves unity.
As the roads and railways, which had been severed, were re-linked and routes on air and sea were opened, a large breakthrough was made in the barrier dividing the peninsula. Inter-Korean high-level political and military talks were held along with 20-odd rounds of ministerial-level talks, which discussed and agreed on the problems of the Korean nation. In Kaesong, a city which is situated on the Military Demarcation Line and called a symbol of national division, there was established an industrial zone, a symbol of economic cooperation and exchanges between the north and the south of Korea. Mt. Kumgang, a world-famous mountain in the north of Korea, was opened to people in the south for tourism.
Reunion of separated families and their relatives in north and south took place many times. Sportspersons of the north and the south entered the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympic Games and many other international sports games together hand in hand—these scenes moved the whole world. The world realized keenly that the north and the south of Korea are a nation with one language, one blood and culture and they must be reunified without fail.
The fact that the north and the south of Korea, which had been at odds for over half a century, could demonstrate such a great national unity was a fruit of the ideal of By Our Nation Itself.
In the course of applying invariably the spirit of great national unity by the north and south of Korea, reunification of the Korean Peninsula will surely be achieved.
Spirit of Peace
The ideal of By Our Nation Itself constitutes an invariable banner for Korea’s reunification because it is the fundamental guarantee for peace in the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean Peninsula is one of the hotspots in the world. Peace and security of the world are now dependent on the development of situation in this peninsula.
As the south Korean authorities are positive in joining the persistent US policy of stifling the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and threatening it militarily, the situation in the region is getting aggravated to the extreme.
Had the south Korean authorities not kowtowed to the US, which is hell-bent on doing harm to their compatriots, and had they not allowed their territory, airspace and seawaters to be used as venues of the US war games by rejecting joint maneuvers, in other words, had they respected the ideal of By Our Nation Itself, then the situation in the peninsula would not have been driven to such a critical phase.
The June 15 joint declaration is irrefutably a joint declaration between the north and south of Korea. The south Korean authorities can never feel free from the declaration before the entire Korean nation and the world.
Peace and security of the Korean Peninsula means peace and security of the world. If a war breaks out in the Korean Peninsula, it will inevitably develop into a thermonuclear war, which mankind has never experienced until now, and expand to a wide area of the world as well as the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. Loss and damage caused by it would be beyond imagination.
The international community wish that the north and the south of Korea would remain faithful to the last to the ideal of By Our Nation Itself, the basic ideal of the June 15 Joint Declaration.
For realizing the reunification of the Korean Peninsula, there is no other way but to implement the joint declaration.