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National Reunification

Historical Root

The Korean nation is a homogeneous nation that has lived on the same territory with the same blood, language and customs.

The Korean people, who had put an end to Japan’s occupation and dreamed a bright future on the land of their liberated country, have been suffering the tragedy of national division by the US that has occupied south Korea since the end of World War II.

A reinforced concrete wall stands in the southern part of the 240-odd-km Military Demarcation Line which bisects the Korean peninsula.

The DPRK put forth national reunification as the most pressing historical task of the nation and is waging a dynamic struggle for its realization.

The 38th Parallel and Military Demarcation Line

The US fabricated the 38th Parallel to split Korea just before Japan’s unconditional surrender.

About this, the then US President Truman said that fixing the 38th Parallel as a line for dividing Korea had not been raised in international discussions, but was proposed by the US side. As he confessed, the US was very anxious about the general attack by the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army on August 9, Juche 34 (1945) and the start of the anti-Japanese operations by the Soviet troops. It was because these forces could advance southward swiftly to occupy the whole of Korea at one go.

Harbouring an ambition to seize Korea by all means, Truman gave instructions that this problem be settled by the Coordinating Committee of Three Departments of the State, the War and the Navy. The army officers gathered at the Department of Defence (most of them were colonels) and drew a division line along the 38th Parallel north latitude on their map. And they worked out a “final plan” that the Japanese troops in Manchuria, the area north of the 38th Parallel of Korea and Sakhalin had to offer surrender to the commander-in-chief of the Soviet Far East Army and those in Japan proper, the area south of the 38th Parallel of Korea and the Philippines to the commander­in-chief of the US forces in the Far East.

Truman immediately informed the Soviet government of this plan which was codified as General Order No. 1. According to it, the US forces, under the pretext of disarming Japanese troops, landed in Inchon of south Korea on September 8, 20-odd days after the declaration of the unconditional surrender by Japan on August 15, 1945. Since then Koreans that had lived as a homogeneous nation for 5 000 years had to suffer the bitter pain of national split.

After the Korean war (1950-1953) unleashed by the US, the 38th Parallel was replaced by a military demarcation line according to the Korean Armistice Agreement. Standing on the line is the reinforced concrete wall, 5-Bm high, 10-19m wide and 3-?m wide at the base and at the top, respectively, threatening to divide the Korean nation for ever.

Three Charters for National Reunification

The three charters for national reunification formulated by Kim Jong Il comprise the three principles for national reunification, the 10-point programme for the great unity of the whole nation for the reunification of the country and the proposal for founding a Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo set forth by President Kim Il Sung.

The three principles for national reunification set forth by Kim Il Sung at the talks with the south Korean delegates who took part in the inter-Korean high-level political talks on May 3 and November 3, Juche 61 (1972) include independence, peaceful reunification and great national unity.

The principles call for settling the reunification problem independently by the Korean nation’s own efforts and without the interference of foreign forces, reunifying the country in a peaceful way without recourse to arms and promoting the great unity of the whole nation transcending the differences in idea, ideal and system. They constitute the cornerstone of national reunification as they elucidate the basic stand and ways for solving Korea’s reunification problem by the nation’s own efforts in accordance with the nation’s will and interests. They are also a common national reunification programme which both the north and the south confirmed through the July 4, Juche 61 (1972) North-South Joint Statement and declared solemnly at home and abroad.

Proposal for Founding a Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo

In the report to the Sixth Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea in October Juche 69 (1980) Kim Il Sung said that the quickest and most confident way to national reunification was to form a single federal state through the joint efforts of the north and the south, leaving each other’s ideas and social systems as they are.

The proposal calls for the formation of a unified national government in which the north and the south are represented on an equal footing and under which both sides exercise regional autonomy respectively with equal rights and duties, that is, the establishment of a unified federal state. This means that the country’s reunification should be realized by establishing a federation based on one nation, one state, two systems and two governments. The proposal impartially takes into account the interests of the authorities, the people from all walks of life, every party and every group in the north and the south and advocates the formation of a unified national government which is acceptable to either side, any class and any party without their interests being infringed upon. Kim Il Sung said that the federal state will assume an independent and democratic character and had better be named the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo after Koryo, the first unified state in the Korean history, by reflecting the common political ideal of the north and the south aspiring after democracy.

Kim Il Sung elucidated the ten-point policy to be enforced by the DFRK in all fields including politics, the economy, culture, military affairs, people’s livelihood and foreign relations, clarifying that the DFRK would be an independent, democratic, neutral, non-aligned and peace-loving country.

The plan for founding the Democratic Federal Republic of Koryo and its ten­point policy arose great sympathy and won support from the people in the north and the south of Korea, as well as from the international community.

10-Point Programme for the Great Unity of the Whole Nation for
the Reunification of the Country

In April Juche 82 (1993), when a new grave difficulty was created on the road to national reunification owing to the imperialists’ moves to isolate and stifle the DPRK and the treacherous moves of the south Korean authorities, Kim Il Sung made public the 10-point programme for the great unity of the whole nation for the reunification of the country. The programme elucidates that all the compatriots in the north, in the south and abroad must hasten national reunification through the great unity of the whole nation and the nation’s own efforts, transcending differences in idea, social system, religious belief and property status.

10-Point Programme for the Great Unity of the Whole Nation

1.A unified state, independent, peaceful and neutral, should be founded through the great unity of the whole nation.

2.Unity should be based on patriotism and the spirit of national independence.

3.Unity should be achieved on the principle of promoting co-existence, co­prosperity and common interests and subordinating everything to the cause of national reunification.

4. All political disputes that foment division and confrontation between fellow countrymen should be ended and unity should be achieved.

5. The fear of invasion from both south and north, and the ideas of prevailing over communism and communization should be dispelled, and north and south should believe in each other and unite.

6. The north and south should value democracy and join hands on the road to national reunification, without rejecting each other because of differences in ideals and principles.

7. The north and south should protect the material and spiritual wealth of individuals and organizations and encourage their use for the promotion of great national unity.

8. Understanding, trust and unity should be built up across the nation through contact, exchange of visits and dialogue.

9. The whole nation, north, south and overseas, should strengthen its solidarity for the sake of national reunification.

10. Those who have contributed to the great unity of the nation and to the cause of national reunification should be honoured.

Under the Ideal of By Our ation 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.

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