Search in
ADD SEARCH FILTER CANCEL SEARCH FILTER

Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 13, 1974

LETTER FROM GOVERNMENT OF NORTH KOREA

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

CITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
  • Citation

    get citation

    Letter from The Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the U.S. Senate formally proposing that talks be held for the conclusion of a peace agreement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States of America.
    "Letter from Government of North Korea," May 13, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, Ford Vice Presidential Papers, Office of Assistant for Defense and International Affairs, Files 1973-1974, John O. Marsh, Box 61, North Korea. Obtained for NKIDP by Charles Kraus. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114199
  • share document

    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/114199

VIEW DOCUMENT IN

KOREAN (TRANSCRIPTION) HTML

Office of the Vice President

Washington

May 13, 1974

MEMORANDUM FOR: JACK MARSH

FROM: SPOFFORD CANFIELD

SUBJECT: LETTER FROM GOVERNMENT
OF NORTH KOREA

The enclosed communication from Hwang Jang Yop [Hwang Jang-yeop], Chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, was hand-delivered to my office on Friday, May 10. As you know, the Vice President, as President of the Senate, receives all communications to the Senate. Long standing practice dictates that a letter of the nature of the North Korean’s be referred informally to the Foreign Relations Committee. In most instances a copy is sent to the Majority and Minority Leader; this has been done.

No action is required by the Vice President. I did want you, however, to be aware of the letter.

Enclosure

(Translation)

Pyongyang, March 25, 1974

I have the honour to send to your Excellency and, through Your Excellency, to your Senate the “Letter to the Congress of the United States of America” adopted at the Third Session of the Fifth Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Please accept the assurances of my high consideration.

Hwang Jang Yop

Chairman

Supreme People’s Assembly

Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

His Excellency Mr. Gerald R. Ford

President of the Senate

United States of America

Washington

(Translation)

THE LETTER

TO

THE CONGRESS OF

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

The Third Session of the Fifth Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, having discussed the question of creating a prerequisite to the removal of tension in Korea and the acceleration of the country’s independent and peaceful reunification, sends this letter to both the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America.

All the Korean people and the peace-loving people the world over were greatly stirred up by the bright prospects for the preservation of peace in Korea and the settlement of her reunification problem, when the North-South Joint Statement was made public in July 1972.

But today, after the lapse of almost two years since then, developments in Korea have been quite the opposite to what the people had expected.

Tension seemed to be relaxed temporarily, but it has been aggravated again. Only military confrontation and war danger have daily been increasing, instead of prospects for peaceful reunification.

The prevailing situation naturally causes apprehensions of the people of the world and urgently demands that we adopt proper measures for meeting the situation.

The Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea still firmly believes that for the prevention of a war danger and removal of tension in Korea and the promotion of her peaceful reunification, it is necessary, first of all, to eliminate the military confrontation between the north and the south.

In fact, under the condition of huge armed forces standing opposed to each other as it is today, it is impossible to successfully solve any problems, big and small, which are related to the peaceful reunification of Korea.

Ever since the armistice in Korea the Government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has put forward time and again various reasonable proposals such as proposals for the reduction of armaments and the conclusion of a peace agreement, as a step for converting the armistice into a durable peace.

Even after the start of the dialogue between the north and the south of Korea, we presented the elimination of the north-south military confrontation as a question to be settled before everything else.

If any of our peaceful proposals had been put into practice, a durable peace would have been ensured in Korea and tension as we see today would have not been aggravated again.

The south Korean authorities, however, have not responded to our proposals for the stoppage of arms reinforcement and arms race, the reduction Of the armies and armaments, the withdrawal of foreign troops and the conclusion of a peace agreement, but have pushed forward war preparations.

Backed by the United States, the south Korean authorities have only implored the prolonged presence of the U.S. troops in south Korea and deliberately aggravated the relations between the north and the south, incessantly clamouring about the fictitious “threat of southward aggression” in an attempt to oppose the country’s reunification and repress the south Korean people.

With a view to cloaking such acts of theirs; recently the south Korean authorities came out with what they call a “non-aggression pact.”

But it is well known to the world that it is not the south Korean authorities but the U.S. Commander who holds the prerogative of supreme command of the army in south Korea today. The south Korean authorities who do not have the prerogative of supreme command of the army propose to con elude a “non-aggression pact” while leaving the U.S. troops to stay on in south Korea. This is an empty talk without any guarantee of peace and accordingly, is not worth discussing at all.

It is none other than the United States that has encouraged the south Korean authorities in all their acts to turn down our independent and peace-loving proposals unconditionally.

Even after the dialogue started between the north and south of Korea, the United States has increased its military aid and armed support to south Korea, saying that the dialogue should be backed up by the armed forces, and has frequently committed provocations against the northern half of the Republic, staged war exercises and perpetrated espionage acts by sending high-speed, high-altitude reconnaissance planes and thus has intensified tension ceaselessly.

We, therefore, consider that the responsibility for the failure in Korea’s reunification and for the current tension and danger of war in Korea rests chiefly with the U.S. government authorities.

It is becoming increasingly evident that as long as the U.S. troops remain in south Korea it is impossible to remove tension and consolidate peace in Korea and that the south Korean authorities have no intention and ability whatsoever to solve this problem.

The reality calls for concluding a peace agreement directly with the United States which stations its troops in south Korea and holds the prerogative of supreme command of all the forces, in order to create prerequisites for removing tension in Korea and eliminating the external factors obstructing Korea’s independent and peaceful reunification and for enabling the Korean people to solve the reunification problem independently by themselves.

The Chinese People’s Volunteers withdrew from Korea long ago, and not the troops of the “U.N. forces” but the U.S. troops remain there. Under this condition, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States, the signatories to the Korean Armistice Agreement and the virtual parties concerned.

At present the Armistice Agreement itself has become already outdated and does not conform to the reality in many respects. To replace the Armistice Agreement with a peace agreement brooks no further delay.

The Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea considers that a peace agreement to be concluded with the United States of America may include the following points:

Firstly, both sides shall pledge to each other not to invade the other side and shall remove all the danger of direct armed conflict.

The United States shall be obliged not to instigate the south Korean authorities to the war provocation manoeuvres and fascist repression of the south Korean people and patronize them, not to obstruct the north and south of Korea in reunifying the country independently and peacefully in accordance with the North-South Joint Statement and not to interfere in any form in the internal affairs of Korea.

Secondly, the two sides shall discontinue arms reinforcement and arms race and stop introducing any weapons, combat equipment and war supplies into Korea.

Thirdly, the berets of the “United Nations forces” shall be taken off the foreign troops stationed in south Korea and they all be withdrawn at the earliest possible date along with all their weapons.

Fourthly, Korea shall not be made a military base or operational base of any foreign country after the withdrawal of all foreign troops from south Korea.

The Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea formally proposes that talks be held for the conclusion of a peace agreement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States of America, with the above-mentioned points as a premise.

The talks may be held at Panmunjom [Panmunjeom] or in a third country by delegates of a higher level than those to the Military Armistice Commission now functioning at Panmunjom.

The relations will be improved between the north and south of Korea and an atmosphere favourable to the independent and peaceful solution of the reunification problem be created when the question of replacing the Armistice Agreement with a peace agreement in Korea is settled successfully.

Our new proposal fully accords with the interests of the people of the United States and of world peace as well.

The Supreme People’s Assembly of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea expresses the expectation that the Congress of the United States of America and the U.S. government authorities will direct serious attention to our new peaceful proposal and make an affirmative response to this.

The Supreme People’s Assembly of

the Democratic People’s Republic of

Korea

Pyongyang, March 25, 1974

ORIGINAL SCAN PDF

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. No worries, just click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to view the PDF file in a new window.

PDFs cannot be printed inline in the page. To print a PDF, you must first download the file and open it in a PDF viewer.