North Korea Appeals to Reunify Country by Concerted Efforts of Korean Nation

(June 10, 2002)

June 15, 2002 marks the 2nd anniversary of the historic signing of the "Joint Declaration" between north and south Korea. Since its signing two years ago, significant steps have been taken by the Korean people for the peaceful reunification of their country.

A recent joint editorial written by the Workers Party of Korea, the Korean People's Army, and the Kim Il Sung Socialist Youth League writes:

As is widely known, the leaders of north and south Korea met in Pyongyang in June 2000, the first such meeting in 55 years of national division, and signed the historic June 15th Joint Declaration.

When the joint declaration was announced, all the Koreans of the north, the south and abroad expressed their full support, hailing it as a milestone in the process of national reunification. Enthusiasm for reunification rapidly mounted. The international community, too, welcomed the joint declaration, describing it as an important document which would help to open a new phase in the efforts to solve the Korean question. The United States, which has long acted as a brake on Korean reunification, positively appraised the joint declaration against its will.

The First Article of the joint declaration stipulates that the Korean people shall be masters of the country's reunification, and achieve it independently by their concerted efforts. This article forms the nucleus of the declaration.

Reunification is an internal affair of Korea that its people should resolve by their united efforts. Korea was divided not by its own internal contradictions or discord but by the schemes of the big powers to expand their sphere of influence after World War II. Korea has remained divided for more than half a century owing to intervention and obstruction on the part of outside forces. The Korean people have grown more anxious for reunification with each passing day, but foreign forces have not tolerated it in their own interests. On the contrary, the US has tightened its grip on south Korea and impeded the reunification of Korea, nurturing a wild ambition to dominate the whole of the peninsula. In pursuit of that aim, it has deliberately aggravated the situation. For example, it has destroyed the atmosphere of reconciliation and the progress that was made towards reunification which resulted from the adoption of the joint declaration, all the while attempting more frantically than ever before to isolate and suffocate north Korea. It is nothing but a fantasy to think that Korea can be reunified through reliance on outside forces, because they are the main obstacle to such an outcome. Nobody can regain the sovereignty of the country and achieve national reconciliation in the place of the Korean people themselves. If they join hands firmly with each other, despite differences in their ideas, ideals, beliefs and social systems, they can deepen their mutual understanding and trust, work together single-mindedly for the common interests of the nation, promote great national unity in the course of this, and ultimately attain the reunification of Korea. In conclusion, independent national reunification depends on how the joint declaration is implemented.

Therefore, at the joint meeting north Korea appealed to the south to defend and execute the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration, develop inter-Korean relations, activate the reunification movement, and remove those factors threatening peace on the Korean Peninsula and hindering its reunification.

At the joint meeting in Pyongyang, north Korea denounced those who seek to block implementation of the joint declaration for opposing the nation and reunification, and appealed to the Korean people to fully support and fulfill the declaration, rejecting all attempts to nullify it. Speakers at the meeting also pointed out that north-south relations boil down to inter-Korean bonds and are oriented toward reunification, stressing the necessity of bringing about national cooperation by all possible means and actively developing intergovernmental dialogue and all other types of nongovernmental contact. They declared that the domestic and overseas war hawks' attempts to unleash another war must be frustrated, foreign forces, the source of war, be withdrawn from south Korea, and the strength of the nation be pooled to achieve reunification. They also criticized south Korea for "cooperating" with foreign forces and regarding the north as its "archenemy" while uttering its readiness to work together for reunification. Insisting that the south should discontinue opposing the nation and reunification, they called on it to eliminate all legal and institutional mechanisms which antagonize the north Koreans, people of the same ancestral blood, and define the reunification movement as illegal. In an effort to carry out these momentous tasks, the north suggested a campaign to promote inter-Korean unity and reunification this year, proposing that June 15th, when the inter-Korean joint declaration was published, be made "the day for opening the door of reunification by the concerted efforts of the Korean nation", and the period from May through. July, when the July 4 North-South Joint Communique was adopted, and August, which witnessed Korean liberation, the period for pooling the efforts of the Korean nation.

North Korea is firmly resolved to reunify the country, This is quite beyond doubt. The leader of the Korean Social Democratic Party, a major opposition party of north Korea, expressed his determination to do all that he can to further strengthen its ties with many political parties and organizations in south Korea and abroad, true to the spirit of the joint declaration, and thus open a decisive phase of national unity and reunification. The leader of the Chondoist Chongu Party also expressed full support for the three appeals and the three proposals, affirming her determination to actively participate in the national reunification movement under the banner of the joint declaration.

The permanent chairman of the National Federation for Democratic National Unification, an influential dissident organization of south Korea, and a permanent representative of the Unification and Solidarity for the Implementation of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and Peace on the Korean Peninsula declared that they would do all to realize the joint declaration.

The Koreans at home and abroad are eager for reunification, and have made up their minds to execute the joint declaration.

The problem they face is the stance of the south Korean authorities and the US administration. For that reason, the world will watch Seoul and Washington carefully.