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The Only Way to National Reunification is the Great Unity of the Entire Nation.

Talk to the Chief of the Koryo Research Institute of William Carrie University
April 10, 1993
I am delighted to meet you, Mr. Jo Tok Chon. I am grateful to you for having revisited the homeland. You have hitherto made great efforts for the reunification of the country. I hope you will, in the future, too, continue your endeavours to achieve this in every possi­ble way.

You say you wish I will take office as the President of the reuni­fied federal republic. I do not wish to become the President, but I want the country to be reunified as soon as possible.

In order to reunify our country, we must, above all else, achieve the great unity of the entire nation.

This is the only way to national reunification at present. To reuni­fy the country, there is no other way but to realize the great unity of all Koreans in the north, the south and abroad. The unity of the entire nation enables us to succeed in solving all the problems which we encounter in reunifying the country.

With a view to promoting the work for achieving the great unity of our nation to a higher stage, I drew up the 10-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation for the Reunification of the Country, and made it public at the recent Fifth Session of the Ninth Supreme People’s Assembly. I am thankful to you for your comment that this programme constitutes impressive basic principles for national reunification.

The recently published 10-point programme is the development of the spirit of the Ten-Point Programme of the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland to suit the present situation. In 1936,1 founded the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland (ARF), an anti-Japanese national united front organization, and pub­lished the ten-point programme of this association, in order to rally the entire nation under the banner of national restoration. At that time we suggested naming the anti-Japanese national united front organization the Association for the Restoration of the Fatherland, but a considerable number of people objected, claiming that this name had a strong nationalist flavour. So I said to them: Commu­nism is inconceivable apart from the nation. It is no use conducting the communist movement without regard for the interests of the nation. The communist movement itself is needed for the nation. We must always attach prime importance to the national interests. Explaining thus, I told them that we should name the anti-Japanese national united front organization the ARF. When we were founding the ARF, there was an old man called “Tobacco Pipe”, whose real name was Ri Tong Baek. He had tramped from place to place allegedly being engaged in the communist movement, and had been involved in various factions. Disillusioned with the factional strife, he came to see us. Upon seeing me, he told me about his past life and said that he was an opportunist. When I asked him why he, an opportunist, had come to see me, he replied that he had come to meet me, having heard that General Kim Il Sung was famous. At first he also opposed naming the anti-Japanese national united front organization the ARF, but he strongly supported the idea after listen­ing to my explanation.

The 10-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation contains the idea that all Koreans, who are concerned about the des­tiny of the nation, whether they live in the north, the south or abroad, whether they are communists or nationalists, the haves or have-nots, atheists or believers, must first unite as one nation, transcending all their differences, and that all should make a contribution to the reunification of the country and the prosperity of the reunified coun­try, men of strength contributing their strength, intellectuals their knowledge and moneyed people their money. This programme also reflects all problems arising in achieving the great unity of the whole nation—the problem of founding a unified state, independent, peace­ful and neutral, through the great unity of the entire nation, the prob­lem of achieving unity on the principle of promoting co-existence, co-prosperity and common interests and subordinating everything to the cause of national reunification, and the problem of believing in and uniting with each other by dispelling both the fear of invasion from the south and the north and the ideas of prevailing over com­munism and communizing south Korea.

There is no response as yet from the south Korean authorities to the 10-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation published by us. They are probably giving careful consideration to it. I expect a favourable response from the south Korean authorities.

In order to expedite the reunification of the country through the great unity of the entire nation, we must hold fast to the principle of national independence.

The report made by the Premier of the Administration Council at the recent session of the Supreme People’s Assembly pointed out that the south Korean authorities should aspire for national indepen­dence, and that, to this end, they should clarify their attitude to the four items. The purport of his statement is to reject foreign interfer­ence and reunify the country through the efforts of our own nation on the principle of national independence.

It is impossible to reunify the country by depending on foreign forces. People in the United States and some other countries do not want our country to be reunified. Once the north and the south are reunified, our country will become a great country with a population of 70 million. Historically, ours is a sagacious and civilized nation. Therefore, if they are united, they will be able to build our country into a world power. That is why people in the United States and some other countries do not welcome our country to be reunified; they are afraid of it.

In order to uphold the principle of national independence, in con­trast to being dependent on foreign forces, south Korea must over­come flunkeyism, make the US troops withdraw and free itself from the domination of the United States.

In the past, flunkeyism was rampant among our people. Flunkeyists had been split into the pro-Chinese group, the pro-Russian group and the pro-Japanese group, immersing themselves in factional strife, each with the backing of a large country, with the result that our country was ruined. The historical lesson shows that if people are engrossed in factional strife, backed up by large countries, they will ruin their country and be subordinated to the big countries.

Some time ago the person in authority in south Korea pointed out in his “presidential” inaugural address that no allied country can be better than the country of his fellow people. I am not sure whether he said this because he has the consciousness of national indepen­dence and national conscience, but I think his remark itself is mean­ingful. His statement means that he values his own nation more than any allied country. True, no ally can be more intimate than one’s fel­low people. If the entire nation of the north and the south firmly maintains the consciousness of national independence, nothing will be impossible for them. So I advised the Premier of the Admi­nistration Council to include in his report to the recent session of the Supreme People’s Assembly the above-mentioned remark made by the person in authority of south Korea in his inaugural address and to state that we are paying attention to his remark. If the person in authority of south Korea had listened to his report, I think he would have had a good impression about us.

In the report to the recent session of the Supreme People’s Assem­bly, we demanded that if the south Korean authorities are unable to have the US troops withdrawn immediately, they should, at least, express their will to compel the withdrawal of the US troops.

At present, the Americans are resorting to all possible means to avoid withdrawal of their troops from south Korea. Until now they have claimed they are keeping their troops stationed in south Korea, in order to hold the Soviet Union in check and prevent the “south­ward invasion” of the north. However, now that the Soviet Union has collapsed, and the agreement on nonaggression was adopted between the north and the south, there are no grounds for the US troops to stay in south Korea any longer. Such being the case, the Americans have started the “Team Spirit” joint military exercise again on the pretext of a fictitious “nuclear issue”, refusing to leave south Korea.

At the moment the United States is bringing pressure to bear on us, demanding that we should expose atomic bombs. As we have already declared on many occasions, we have no atomic bombs; we have neither the capacity nor the funds to make them, nor do we need to produce them. The United States possesses thousands and tens of thousands of atomic bombs, as well as a large number of launch vehicles. It is useless for us to make only one or two of these bombs. It is no use having only a couple of them. The United States is claiming that we have missiles with a range of 1,000 kilometres, but we have no such missiles, either. Americans are fussing about the “nuclear issue”, even though they know well that we have no nuclear weapons. In doing so they aim at putting pressure on us and isolating us under the pretext of this issue and overthrowing our socialism. Following the ruin of socialism in the former Soviet Union and the Eastern European countries, the United States, believ­ing that Korea will follow suit, is concentrating the spearhead of its attack against us. The Americans are quite ignorant of the fact that our socialism is different from the socialism that collapsed in these countries.

The United States is unwilling to withdraw its troops from south Korea also because it intends to maintain its colonial rule over south Korea. As I referred before in my answers to the questions raised by the managing editor of the Japanese politico-theoretical magazine Sekai, the United States regards south Korea as a tasty piece of fat and will not let it go. I think that yet another reason for the United States’ refusal to withdraw its troops from south Korea lies in the fact that it intends to restrain China and Japan. The Americans con­sider they should hold China and Japan in check because these are great powers. They think that, for this reason, they should not with­draw their troops from south Korea. If we hold talks with the United States in the future, we intend to inquire into the real purpose of the US troops being stationed in south Korea.

Publishing the 10-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation recently, we once again made clear that we have no intention of invading the south or “communizing” south Korea. The reunified Korea should be an independent, peaceful, non-aligned and neutral state which does not lean towards any big country. There­fore, I think it is high time the Americans reconsidered their Korea policy.

If our country becomes a neutral state after its reunification, we may become friendly with the United States. There are no reasons why we and the United States should not be friends. We want to be friendly with the United States. There is no harm in the United States being on cordial terms with our reunified country. If there are people among the Americans who are able to put forward a correct policy, they will support our reunified country becoming a neutral state.

In April last year the Rev. Billy Graham, a US religious leader, visited our country, bringing with him a verbal message from the US President. I thanked him for it and said that there were no reasons why Korea and the United States should not become friends, and that a new spring seemed to begin between the two countries. Then he said that he would make every possible effort to bring about Korea-US friendship.

The Americans must have a clear understanding of our attitude and endeavour to be on good terms with us. They are groundlessly clamouring about a nuclear inspection under a false charge and complicating the matter. They must be circumspect now and set about solving the problem in a decent way through negotiations, getting on well with us. Though there are complex problems between Korea and the United States, they will be solved smoothly if we have face-to-face talks. If the Americans hold talks with us with a friendly atti­tude, a consensus will be reached.

You say that ex-President Carter seems to be willing to accept my invitation. If he comes to our country, I will meet him.

You advise me to meet the person in authority of south Korea, too, in due course. I remember his inaugural address in which he said he was willing to meet President Kim Il Sung either on Mt. Paektu or on Mt. Halla. His remark means that he is willing to come here if I invite him, and that he wants me to go to him if he invites me. If you go to south Korea, I should like you to tell him that I remember his remark.

Immediately after he came into power recently, the person in authority of south Korea said something good, released the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan, Rim Su Gyong and other people who had visited north Korea and sent back Ri In Mo. We must wait and see what an attitude he will take in the future, but the start is quite good, I think.

I met the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan only two times during his stay in Pyongyang, but I feel very friendly towards him. The day before he left for south Korea, I visited his lodging and told him that I was worried about him because he would have a hard time of it in prison when he went back to south Korea. He replied that he had already expected it, and that since he had experienced prison life several times, the prison seemed his own home. Moreover, he said that when he returned to south Korea he would probably serve a term of about three or four months in prison, but that he would not be treated so badly as he was on good terms with warders. He said that Roh Tae Woo pointed out in his “speech” that he did not regard north Korea as a stranger, but considered it a companion and added that because Ron’s remark meant he was not hostile to the north, he him­self came to the north believing that he would be all right even if he visited it. As soon as the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan returned to south Korea, however, Roh Tae Woo had him arrested and imprisoned. Since then, we have taken every opportunity to demand that the south Korean authorities release him. At the north-south high-level talks we also raised the problem of setting free the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan, Rim Su Gyong and other figures who had visited the north. Nevertheless, Roh Tae Woo did not free them.

I ignored Roh Tae Woo’s proposal for summit talks because he had not discharged them. Last year I met a south Korean business­man. He told me that Roh Tae Woo wanted to have summit talks. So I said to him: I have no intention of meeting Roh Tae Woo. He is too heartless and cruel. He imprisoned the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan on a charge of having been to the north and meeting me. The Rev. Mun is more than 70 years old and, on top of that, he is supporting his sick mother, and yet Roh Tae Woo put him behind bars. What is the use of meeting such a merciless person? The businessman said that they were obliged to put the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan behind bars according to the south Korean law. So I said to him: The law is made by people. Mr. Shin Kanemaru asked me to send back the Japanese who had been arrested while committing espionage acts in our country. So I had them sent back, although they had violated our law. If Roh Tae Woo, the “President”, tells them to release the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan, they will do so. I will have no dealings with such a cold-hearted man. I am not sure whether the south Korean businessman conveyed my words to Roh Tae Woo. Anyhow, Roh released Mun later and then imprisoned him again to hold out against us. There is no need, of course, to criticize him now that he had been ousted from the “presidency”. However, the fact that the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan underwent hardship in the prison for a long time always weighs on my mind. When parting from me, he said that, when he returned to south Korea, he would serve his term in prison for three or four months at the longest, but he was put behind bars for nearly four years.

The Rev. Mun Ik Hwan is an old acquaintance of mine. We promised each other to form a close friendship. I respect him and miss him.

We can say that the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan is a symbol of national reunification. It was for the reunification of the country that he came to meet me all the way across the death line. I highly appreciate it. I found him to be a true person. I have not met many people from south Korea, so I have no clear idea of them. Nevertheless, I place unqualified trust in the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan.

If you meet him, please tell him that I was sad to hear that he was suffering troubles in prison and that I always missed him. I also hope that you will convey to him that I am delighted at his release from prison. I feel like running to him and embracing him right now if he were near me, but I regret that I cannot do so.

Mr. Yu Won Ho, who had been here with the Rev. Mun Ik Hwan, is said to have also been released recently. Please give my regards to him, too. I shall be grateful if you convey my thanks to those who made efforts for the repatriation of Ri In Mo.

You say that there are good people even in the south Korean “government”. We can bring the country’s reunification nearer only when there are a large number of such people. I hope all the south Koreans will be good people who strive for national reunification. While you are active abroad, you should render efficient help to those good people who are in south Korea.

You have said that the publication of the 10-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation for the Reunification of the Country and the acclamation of Comrade Kim Jong Il as the Chair­man of the National Defence Commission of the Democratic Peo­ple’s Republic of Korea at the recent session of the Supreme Peo­ple’s Assembly are of special importance at home and abroad. I am grateful to you for your remark.

I am handing over to Comrade Kim Jong Il the important affairs of state one after another. In order to discharge the important duty of Chairman of the National Defence Commission, I must work hard throughout the night. However, it is difficult for me to do so, because I am advanced in years now. Therefore, I handed over to Comrade Kim Jong Il the post of the Chairman of the National Defence Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the recent session of the Supreme People’s Assembly. Comrade Kim Jong Il is now creditably administering the important affairs of the Party and the state with unremitting energy and stamina, sitting up every night.

You say that you will inform the figures in the south Korean movement of the 10-Point Programme of the Great Unity of the Whole Nation and get them to accept it as the fundamental princi­ples of national reunification; I am extremely thankful to you for this.

I hope that patriots like you will work hard abroad and make a major contribution to achieving the country’s reunification.
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