Under the Ideal of By Our Nation Itself
In June Juche 89 (2000), thanks to Kim Jong Il’s iron will for national reunification and great decision, an inter-Korean summit meeting, the first of its kind in the history of Korea’s division, was held in Pyongyang and the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration was adopted. This was a historic event in that it cleared the darkness of mistrust and confrontation that had lasted between the north and the south for more than half a century and opened a new era of advancing towards independent reunification by the concerted efforts of the nation. The June 15 Joint Declaration is a milestone of national reunification illuminating the road ahead of the nation for achieving independent reunification under the ideal of By Our Nation Itself.
Kim Jong Il, firmly determined to open a new era of independent reunification, peace and prosperity by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation itself, arranged another round of historic north-south summit meeting in October Juche 96 (2007), where the October 4 Declaration, an action programme of the June 15 Joint Declaration, was adopted. The October 4 Declaration specifies the ways for developing inter-Korean relations, accelerating national reconciliation and unity and opening a new era of peace and prosperity in accordance with the spirit of By Our Nation Itself.
North-South Joint Declaration [June 15, Juche 89 (2000))
1. The north and the south agreed to solve the question of the country’s reunification independently by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation responsible for it.
2. The north and the south, recognizing that the low-level federation proposed by the north and the commonwealth system proposed by the south for the reunification of the country have similarity, agreed to work together for the reunification in this direction in the future.
3. The north and the south agreed to settle humanitarian issues as early as possible, including the exchange of visiting groups of separated families and relatives and the issue of unconverted long-term prisoners, to mark August 15 this year.
4. The north and the south agreed to promote the balanced development of the national economy through economic cooperation and build mutual confidence by activating cooperation and exchange in all fields, social, cultural, sports, public health, environmental and so on.
5. The north and the south agreed to hold an authority-to-authority negotiation as soon as possible to put the above-mentioned agreed points into speedy operation.
Declaration for the Improvement of North-South Relations, and Peace
and Prosperity [October 4, Juche 96 (2007))
1. The north and the south shall uphold and positively implement the June 15 Joint Declaration.
They agreed to independently settle the reunification issue in the spirit of By Our Nation Itself, attach overriding importance to the dignity and interests of the nation and orientate everything to this objective.
They agreed to devise the way to commemorate June 15 in reflection of the will to invariably implement the joint declaration.
2. The north and the south agreed to definitely convert north-south relations into those of mutual respect and confidence, transcending the differences in ideology and system.
They agreed not to interfere in the internal affairs of the other side but solve problems related to north-south relations in conformity with reconciliation, cooperation and reunification.
They agreed to adjust their legal and institutional mechanisms with a view to developing inter-Korean relations to meet the purpose of reunification.
They agreed to positively promote dialogue and contacts in all fields including parliaments of both sides to settle the issues related to boosting inter-Korean relations in line with the desire of the nation.
3. The north and the south agreed to closely cooperate with each other in the efforts to put an end to hostile military relations and ensure detente and peace on the Korean peninsula.
They agreed not to show enmity towards each other but to ease the military tension and settle disputes through dialogue and negotiations.
They agreed to oppose any war on the peninsula and faithfully honor the commitment of non-aggression.
They agreed to hold talks between the minister of the People’s Armed Forces of the north side and the minister of National Defence of the south side in Pyongyang within November this year with a view to discussing measures for building military confidence including the proposal for fixing waters for joint fishing and turning them into peaceful ones in order to prevent accidental clashes in the West Sea and the issue of providing military guarantee for all forms of cooperation projects.
4. The north and the south shared the understanding about the need to put an end to the existing armistice mechanism and build a lasting peace mechanism and agreed to cooperate with each other in the efforts to push forward with the issue of arranging the meeting of heads of state of three or four parties directly concerned on the Korean peninsula to declare an end to war.
They agreed to make joint efforts to ensure the smooth implementation of the September 19 joint statement and February 13 agreement published at the six-party talks for the settlement of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.
5. The north and the south agreed to re-energize economic cooperation and bring about its sustained development on the principles of ensuring common interests and co-prosperity and meeting each other’s need with a view to balanced development of the national economy and common prosperity.
They agreed to encourage investment for economic cooperation and push forward with the building of economic infrastructure and the development of resources and grant all manner of preferential treatment and privilege to suit the peculiarities of cooperation undertakings between compatriots.
They agreed to establish a “special zone for peace and cooperation in the West Sea” covering Haeju area and waters off its surrounding areas and push such undertakings as to fix waters for joint fishing and peace water area, build special economic zone, actively use Haeju Port, allow civilian vessels to directly pass through Haeju Port and jointly use the estuary of the Rimjin River.
They agreed to complete the first-phase project of the Kaesong Industrial Park at an early date, start its second-phase development, begin the railway freight transport between Munsan and Pongdong and rapidly take all measures for institutional guarantee including the issues of passage, communications and customs clearance.
They agreed to discuss and push the issue of reconstructing and repairing the railways between Kaesong and Sinuiju and the motorway between Kaesong and Pyongyang in order to jointly use them.
They agreed to build zones for cooperation in ship-building in Anbyon and Nampho and conduct cooperation projects in different fields including agriculture, health care and environmental protection.
They agreed to upgrade the existing North-South Committee for the Promotion of Economic Cooperation to a Joint Committee for Inter-Korean Economic Cooperation at vice-premier’s level for the smooth promotion of interKorean economic cooperation.
6. The north and the south agreed to develop exchange and cooperation in social and cultural fields such as history, language, education, science and technology, culture and the arts and sports to add brilliance to the time-honored history and fine culture of the nation.
They agreed to start the tour of Mt Paektu and, to this end, open the Mt Paektu-Seoul direct air route.
They agreed to let the cheering groups of the north and the south attend the 2008 Beijing Olympics by using the train running on the west coastal line for the first time.
7. The north and the south agreed to push forward with humanitarian cooperation.
They agreed to expand the meeting of separated families and relatives and promote the exchange of video correspondence.
To this end, they agreed to permanently post representatives of both sides at the reunion centre at Mt Kumgang resort when completed with a view to putting the meeting of separated families and relatives on a regular basis.
They agreed to positively cooperate with each other in case of calamities including natural disaster on the principle of compatriotism, humanitarianism and mutual support and assistance.
8. The north and the south agreed to strengthen cooperation in the efforts to protect the interests of the nation and the rights and interests of overseas Koreans on the international arena.
They agreed to hold the talks between the premier of the north and the prime minister of the south for the implementation of this declaration and decided to hold their first meeting in Seoul within November this year.
They reached an agreement on ensuring that the top leaders of both sides meet from time to time to discuss pending issues for the development of inter Korean relations.