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Digital Archive International History Declassified

February 01, 1977

JOINT MEETING OF POLITICAL PARTIES AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS DISCUSSING UNIFICATION OF THE FATHERLAND

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    Communist World Broadcast Listening Report on joint meeting of political parties and social organizations discussing unification of the Fatherland.
    "Joint Meeting of Political Parties and Social Organizations Discussing Unification of the Fatherland" February 01, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, "Nam Buk Han Sangho Bulgachim Hyupjeong Je Ui E Gwanhan Jeongbu Ui Gyeonhae, 1977” (“Korean Government's Remarks on the Matter of Non-aggression Agreement”), Roll 2007-25, File 02, Frames 36-41/47-56, South Korean Foreign Ministry Archive. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118381
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Communist World Broadcast Listening Report

Title : Joint Meeting of Political Parties and Social Organizations Discussing Unification of the Fatherland                                                 

File No.  :  53/77         Date :   1977/01/02         

To       :     _________________   Cc (Copy) :         

From     :      Promotion Department Head                      

Signature:

[illegible] ...A joint meeting of political parties and social organizations discussing effective ways to remove the perpetual state of national division and the threat of war and advance independent peaceful unification was held at the People’s Palace of Culture. Those attending the meeting discussed how to remove the perpetual state of nation division and danger of war and advance autonomous and peaceful unification.

Those who participated in the meeting included members from each party social groups and central government workers from the education, culture, publishing and reporting sector.

[Kim Il], Kang Yang Uk, Seo Chol, Im Chun Ju, Yang Hyuong Seop, Hwang Jang Hyeop, and others including Lee Jang Suk, Hong Gi Mun, Kim Song Ryul, Kang Jang Su, Kang Hyun Su, Kim Kwan Seop, Kim Kuk Hun, Kim I Hung, Ji Jae Rong, Lee Su Weol, Jo Yong Chul, Kim Ki Nam, Park Yong Hee, [Chae] Min Sun were present on the platform of the chuseok [chuseokdan].

The meeting was presided over by Hong Ki Mun, the director of the Fatherland Reunification and Democracy Front.

Cadres and workers of the social organizations from each party participated in the meeting, along with workers from the education, culture, publishing and reporting sectors and central government cadres.

During this meeting we will discuss how to remove the perpetual state of national division and threat of war and advance the autonomous and peaceful unification of the fatherland.

If any of you hold a different opinion towards discussing this issue, please speak now. If there are no other opinions we will move forward and discuss the issue.

A report on this issue will be made by Yang Hyung Seop, the secretary of the Korean Worker’s Party Central Committee.

Comrades: This year’s historical New Year’s Statement made by our revolutionary mentor, the sun of the Korean people and national hero, the great Suryeong Kim Il Sung, has greatly encouraged laborers nationwide to work harder to achieve the three revolutions of ideology, technology and culture. In an environment where the fight for democracy and peaceful unification by patriotic people and democracy leaders [illegible] in south Korea is ongoing, we are holding this joint meeting of political parties and social groups.

In order to remove the perpetual state of national division and threat of war and advance our country’s autonomous and peaceful unification we must first carry out the grand consolidation of those socialist forces in the north and patriotic democratic forces in the south that support unification [underlined in original]. The unification of the country is a great national patriotic task of vital interest to all the people of Korea, whether they be laborers, farmers, the rich and the poor, atheists and religious people, communists, or nationalists. This task of great national importance can only be achieved by the combined strength of all forces in north and south that genuinely desire unification.

The forces of socialism in the north and patriotic democracy in the south all carry the same attitudes toward opposing fascism and supporting democracy, opposing war and supporting peace, opposing division and supporting unification, and there are no contradictions between them in resolving this national issue.

Even if there are differences in belief systems and political views and in circumstances, as long as the two sides share the same national blood they can come together in solidarity. Even if their systems are different, they can create an ideal system based on uniform goals that is diametrically opposed to the fascist system both forced upon the people through violence and in opposition to their desires.

The grand consolidation of socialist forces in the north and democratic forces in the south must not force upon the other the ideology or views of the other side, must respect and trust each other, and devote everything to the great common national task.

The consolidation of socialism and democracy will be the most powerful propelling force to destroy the scheme to perpetuate national division and advance the autonomous and peaceful unification of the fatherland. This consolidation will be, without question, a dependable guarantee for unification of the fatherland.

The alleviation of tensions between the north and south and the speedy removal of the threat of nuclear war are the preliminary conditions of achieving the autonomous and peaceful unification of the fatherland.

The situation where a state of tension between north and south and the threat of war continues to exist makes it impossible for the country to unify, and consequently an environment beneficial to unification cannot be established. The south Korean authorities talk about some kind of non-aggression pact as if they are hoping for unification and peace, but as long as massive military forces continue to face each other and military power continues to increase, the conclusion of some pact or agreement will not lead to the disappearance of the state of tensions in our country. The confrontation of military power between the north and south across the military demarcation line has produced misunderstandings and mistrust, bred confrontation and hostility, and has worsened the state of tensions.

Moreover, it is only natural that the perpetual threat of war exists when the U.S. military and nuclear weapons are stationed in one half of the country.

All of these things not only produce distrust that could lead to war but also greatly negatively affect the improvement of the national economy and efforts to improve stability in the lives of the people. Do we really have to see the continuance of such a senseless situation that has millions of young men of the same blood pointing guns at each other; that produces tensions within the country; that negatively affects the development of the national economy and the lives of the people; and that wastes the precious resources of the nation?

Can we tolerate the humiliating situation where south Korean youngsters carry the guns handed to them by the American and Japanese imperialists, face the danger of nuclear war and must fight against communism in order to fill the bellies of the imperialists? What our people need now is not empty rhetoric calling for a nonaggression pact but the speedy adoption of real measures to relieve the military confrontation and tensions between north and south and to remove the danger of nuclear war.

What is needed more than anything else to achieve this is the closure of nuclear bases in south Korea, the withdrawal of all weapons of murder including the nuclear weapons brought in by the Americans, and the unconditional withdrawal of American troops. We recognize that there is a need to adopt groundbreaking measures to reduce the military strength of both sides and scale down military expenditures to improve the lives of the people. We raise our voices and call for the relaxation of tensions between the political parties of north and south and the tensions between the authorities of both sides and demand the quick adoption of measures to remove the danger of nuclear war. We also call for the holding of an armaments reduction conference aimed at bringing about the withdrawal of American troops, the halt of competition over increases in military power and expenditures, and the stoppage of weapons being brought in from abroad. If the above proposals are realized, our country’s state of tensions will be reduced, peace will surely be guaranteed, an environment susceptible to peaceful unification will be established, and improvements will come to the nation’s economic development and the lives of the people. In order to advance the coming of autonomous and peaceful unification for our country, we must remove the basis of disharmony inside our country and form an atmosphere of great national solidarity.

The restrictions placed on the free speech of the people and the hostility and confrontation in the country makes it impossible to remove both the misunderstanding and mistrust between north and south and establish great national solidarity, while ultimately making it impossible to successfully achieve autonomous and peaceful unification of the country. Creating discontent domestically and harming the atmosphere of solidarity is only beneficial to operators at home and abroad who are afraid of the solidarity of the Korean people more than anything else, and aim to disrupt unification and maintain two separate states.

There is no reason whatsoever for the Korean people to hate and confront each other, and in the face of that great national task of unification we cannot accept the artificial establishment of hatred within the country.

We must quickly remove all elements forming disharmony and delaying solidarity between people of the same race and must invest all efforts to establish an atmosphere of national unity. This can be achieved by removing the fascist and divisive system of oppression that has created a crisis of fear and a state of tension while undermining great national solidarity; achieving democracy; and unconditionally releasing the patriotic democracy leaders who have been arrested and imprisoned unjustly.

The slandering of the other side must stop and the anti-communist policy promoting hatred of one’s own countrymen must be rescinded. In order for the misunderstandings and mistrust to disappear and national unity to return, the north and south must establish wide-ranging economic cooperation.

These measures above will create understanding and trust between north and south, promote great national solidarity among our people, and contribute immensely to the great patriotic task of achieving autonomous and peaceful unification of our country. All of our above proposals to achieve a great consolidation of socialist forces in the north and democratic forces in the south, relieve tensions between the north and south and remove the danger of nuclear war, and create an atmosphere of great national solidarity must be urgently undertaken to advance our country’s autonomous and peaceful unification.

Anyone who is loyal to our nation’s honor, whether he lives in south or north, domestically or abroad, will turn his attention to the desperate issues and national disaster facing the people at this time, and will support the unity hoped for by our 50 million people. We respectfully call for the holding of a north-south political meeting between political parties made up of people from all levels of north and south society aimed at overcoming the permanence of national division and dangers of a new war, while discussing the above issues for the realization of our country’s peaceful reunification.

The holding of such a meeting is the most rational and realistic way to resolve our country’s unification issue autonomously and peacefully and by and for the benefit of all Korean people. At a time when it is clear that nothing more can be resolved through dialogue with the south Korean authorities who have proclaimed a policy of two states, it is of the utmost urgency to find a way forward for national reunification by bringing together all patriotic forces of north and south who represent the intent of all Korean people. At such a future meeting, the two sides would discuss in frank terms our proposals and ways to achieve our country’s autonomous and peaceful unification.

In order to prepare for this meeting we think it is necessary to hold a preliminary working-level meeting of liaison representatives as quickly as possible at Panmunjeom or another temporary location agreed upon by both sides.

The fight for national unification is not between communists and nationalists but between patriots and traitors, and between national independence forces and imperialist invader forces. Anyone who genuinely loves our country and nation and hopes for unification of the fatherland will, regardless of ideology or beliefs, be able to sit across from each other and negotiate, find points of agreement and seek out a joint path to achieve unification.

If the south Korean authorities revoke their policy of maintaining the division of the two Koreas, stop upholding anti-communism, halt their oppression of [illegible] people and democratic leaders, and abandon their policy of war under the pretext of a threat of a southern invasion, we will again conduct dialogue with them and not be opposed to their participation in the political conference. The success of our great national task will be solidarity with all patriotic forces in the fatherland.

Our united strength will overcome the national tragedy, and the strength of our nation will advance our hopes for unification.

At a time now when so many countries across the world that were oppressed or looked down upon have now achieved national independence and liberation and those people who were once divided are now realizing their national unification, how is it that our country, which has a long history and magnificent culture, has to accept the subjugation and [illegible] forced upon us by foreign powers?

We can no longer live like that and must move to build with our own hands an independent, prosperous and united Korean absent of any subjugation or oppression.

Nothing can come between the fraternal love that makes every Korean person’s heart beat with pride and our united aim to achieve national unification. Nothing can prevent the iron-like will of patriotic forces north and south to stand together and fight.

We call fervently on all the laborers, farmers, students, intellectuals, religious people and patriotic democracy leaders to unite with us to destroy the schemes of those who want division domestically and abroad, and fight strongly to advance to that day of glory when Korean again becomes one.

We believe that political parties from the around the world and the UN that are showing enthusiastic support toward our people’s fight for independent and peaceful national unification will continue to send a strong message of solidarity to our people’s struggle for justice to resolve the question of unification by themselves without interference from outside powers.

The first draft of the letter will be read aloud by Heo Jong Suk, the secretary general of the Fatherland Reunification and Democracy Front.

A letter being sent to political social parties in south Korea, people of all levels of society and overseas Koreans,

To the leaders of south Korean political social organizations,

To our countrymen and countrywomen in south Korea,

To our countrymen overseas,

After 32 years of division etched in our nation’s history, our country still does not see any signs of unification but rather the deepening danger of eternal division; not peace, but the shadow of heavy clouds of war.

We carry a heavy responsibility for our country and people and we realize quite clearly the seriousness of the current situation with its joint diplomatic issues and the danger of war. We desire to prevent the everlasting division of the nation through the combined strength of the north and south, eliminate the danger of war, and advance the peaceful unification of the fatherland. As such, we send this letter from Pyongyang to invite you to a joint meeting of political parties and social organizations.

The announcement of the historical South-North Joint Communiqué which was based on the three principles of independent, peaceful unification and national solidarity and reflected the ardent hope of the entire nation toward unification, made the Korean people hope genuinely for the speedy elimination of division in accordance with this joint national communiqué and to live in one unified country.

However, those who desire division at home and abroad with their policy of “two Koreas” have unceremoniously crushed the principles of the joint communique and have put the great task of unification into grave jeopardy.

The south Korean authorities are going along with their American and Japanese masters’ scheme to divide Korea into two. Meanwhile, they are pursuing confrontation and division between north and south and intend to split the historically unified Korean nation into two countries.

For the past 30 or so years national division has caused our people great misfortune and pain and they have paid a very high price for the unification of the country. How painful it must be for them that now the enormous disaster of permanent division is being forced upon them.

The division of north and south for a long period of time has separated our people who share the same blood and has stopped our country’s unified development. Meanwhile, the whole nation lives constantly under a feeling of apprehension.

If our nation is split into two forever this unfortunate history will ceaselessly continue to repeat itself and our generation and the next and the next will be unable to overcome a fate of servility. The division of the nation will be a constant source of mistrust and confrontation, discontent and tension, and ultimately war between our countrymen.

The reality we face shows us clearly that it could lead our country again into the misfortune of war.

The south Korean authorities have brought in the invasion forces of American and Japan under the pretext of a southern invasion. They also bring in weapons from abroad while illegally preparing for war.

Moreover, it cannot but upset you that the south Korean authorities and the US have turned half of our country into a nuclear base and while continually placing massive amounts of nuclear weapons in the south are planning openly for a nuclear war that will turn our country into a wasteland.

At a time when many people throughout the world are expressing opposition to nuclear zones and nuclear war, and even Americans themselves say that nuclear weapons should be withdrawn from south Korea, the south Korean authorities instead oppose all this and intend to use the nuclear weapons of the imperialists to kill their countrymen. Where on earth would such traitorous acts toward one’s own people exist?

If we did not think about the future of our nation and gambled to bring in the nuclear weapons of someone else, imagine what kind of impact it would have on the land our people have cared for with their blood and sweat for thousands of years and the land that the sons and daughters of our future generations should live happily on.

The criminal policies of splitting Korean into two and of war being conducted under the cry of anti- communism in south Korea has brought fascist terrorism to its peak and is suffocating everything that is democratic and patriotic.

People are jailed for wanting democracy and are put on trial for calling for peaceful unification. They are being hurt and killed for being concerned about the nation’s future.

The entire nation and the world are angry at the intolerable situation where the fate of people who love the country and people and who call for democracy and peaceful unification are punished by the fascist government. The criminal acts of those who desire our country to be divided into two have now reached a state of complete irrationality. The only thing that will remain when the nation is divided into two and war breaks out due to their careless actions will not be American or Japanese people but the Korean people who live on this land.

Perpetual division and the threat of nuclear war in our country will not come tomorrow but is a reality facing us this very moment. The country and its people are facing a very serious situation.

Oh, leaders of south Korean political social organizations,

Oh, our countrymen overseas,

Will we have unification or perpetual division?

At this grave time when fortunes of the nation rest on the question of peace or war, we must block the permanent division of the nation and danger of war and move forward to open the path to peace and peaceful unification. The unification of the nation is our only path to survival, but it is the division of our nation that will lead to our nation’s disaster.  

No one can betray our nation and block the perpetual division of our nation, nor get rid of the danger of war that looms, or present use with a unified fatherland.

We believe the time is here for all people who love their country and people to leave their selfishness behind and unite as one to stop the scheme of those who want to divide our country into two. We must join together in a struggle to achieve the autonomous and peaceful unification of our country.

With only the one hope of saving our country and people from the crisis of destruction, we respectfully propose to you a plan to save the nation by advancing the national unification that the entire people of Korea ardently desire.

To achieve autonomous and peaceful unification of the nation we need to achieve a grand consolidation of the forces of socialism in the north and the forces of patriotic democracy in the south. The noble task of national unification can only be achieved through the united strength of socialist forces in the north and patriotic democratic forces in the south who genuinely long for unification.

Even if there are differences in belief systems and political views, as long as the two sides share the same national blood they can come together in solidarity. Even if their systems are different, they may unite based on shared goals, not a system of fascism.

The grand consolidation between these two forces will oppose fascism and support democracy, oppose war and support peace, oppose division and support unification.

The grand consolidation of socialist forces in the north and democratic forces in the south must not force upon the other the ideology or views of the other side; must respect and trust each other; and must devote everything to the great common national task.

The consolidation of socialism and democracy will show off its united strength from both south and north Korea, and it will be without question a propelling force to block the perpetual division of and advance unification of the nation.

The alleviation of tensions between the north and south and the removal of the threat of nuclear war are required to achieve the autonomous and peaceful unification of the fatherland.

The unprecedented concentration of military power between the north and south across the military demarcation line in such a small country as ours has been a fundamental factor in forming tensions and unrest.

Moreover, the constant threat of war exists because a foreign military and nuclear weapons are stationed inside the nation.

Currently, an irrational situation exists in our country that has millions of young men of the same blood pointing guns at each other. This situation negatively affects the development of the national economy and the lives of the people while wasting the precious resources and strength of the nation.

Can we permit a humiliating situation where south Korean youngsters carry the guns handed to them by the American and Japanese imperialists, face the danger of nuclear war and must fight against communism in order to fill the bellies of the imperialists? We need to move without haste to relieve the military confrontation and tensions between north and south that is threatening our peace and blocking the path to peaceful unification.

We call for the closure of nuclear bases in south Korea, the withdrawal of all weapons of murder including the nuclear weapons brought in by the Americans, and the unconditional withdrawal of American troops.

There is also the need to reduce the military strength of both sides and scale down military expenditures to improve the lives of the people.

We also call on the political parties and people of north and south to demand the authorities of both sides to adopt the above measures and work hard to make them a reality.

We also call on the military authorities to hold an armaments reduction conference aimed at bringing about the withdrawal of American troops, the halt of competition over increases in military power and expenditures, and the stoppage of weapons being brought in from abroad.

In order to advance the coming of autonomous and peaceful unification for our country we must remove the basis of disharmony inside the nation and form an atmosphere of great national solidarity.

The restrictions placed on the free speech of the people and the hostility and confrontation in the country makes it impossible to remove both the misunderstanding and mistrust between north and south and establish great national solidarity. This ultimately makes it impossible to successfully achieve autonomous and peaceful unification of the country.

There is no reason whatsoever for the Korean people to hate and confront each other in the face of the greatest national task of unification.

We must remove the fascist and divisive system that has created disharmony among our countrymen while undermining our great national solidarity. There must be guarantees of the freedom of press, publishing, gathering and demonstration to people who desire peaceful unification, and unconditionally free patriotic people democratic leaders who have been arrested and imprisoned unfairly.

The anti-communist policy promoting hatred of fellow countrymen must be rescinded and the slandering of the other side must be stopped.

In order for the misunderstandings and mistrust to disappear and national unity to return, the north and south must establish wide-ranging economic cooperation.

All of our above proposals will be the groundwork for friendship and unity between our countrymen and will be a brilliant first step to advance our country’s independent and peaceful unification.

Now, a north-south meeting between political parties made up of people from all levels of north and south society should be held to talk about the above issues.

The holding of such a meeting is the most rational and realistic way to resolve our country’s unification issue autonomously and peacefully, and by and for the benefit of all Koreans.

At such a future meeting, the two sides would discuss in frank terms our proposals and ways to achieve our country’s autonomous and peaceful unification.

In order to prepare for this meeting we think it is necessary to hold a preliminary working level meeting of liaison representatives as quickly as possible at Panmunjeom or another temporary location agreed upon by both sides.

Anyone who genuinely loves our country and nation and hopes for unification of the fatherland will, regardless of ideology or beliefs, be able to sit across from each other and negotiate, find points of agreement and seek out a joint path to achieve unification.

If the south Korean authorities rescind their policy of splitting our country in two, give up their anti-communism, halt their oppression of [illegible] people and democratic leaders, and abandon their policy of war under the pretext of threats of an invasion of the south, we will again conduct dialogue with them and not be opposed to their participation in the political conference. The success of our great national task will be solidarity with all patriotic forces in the nation.

We can no longer accept the subjugation and division that the foreign invaders and small-numbered traitors desire.

We should destroy the schemes of those who want division domestically and abroad and fight strongly to advance to that day of glory when Korea becomes one.

Let’s undertake a nationwide patriotic movement to advance that day of glory when our 50 million countrymen can live in our beautiful country that is unified, autonomous and prosperous.

It is now that we send a warm message of fraternal and patriotic support to the people of south Korean and patriotic democracy leaders who are pushing through a forest of bayonets to fight without submission for freedom, democracy, and our country’s peaceful unification.

We are certain that south Korea’s political parties, social organizations, people from all levels of society and our brethen abroad will give our proposal to block our nation’s perpetual division and danger of war and realize our nation’s independent and peaceful unification the attention it deserves and actively support it.

Korean Workers’ Party, Korean Democratic Party, Korean Chondogyo Young Friends Party, Fatherland Reunification and Democracy Front, Central Committee’s North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, General Federation of Korean Trade Unions, Young Socialist Labor Alliance, Union of Agricultural Working People, Union of Democratic Women, General Federation of Korean Literature and Arts Unions, Korean Christians Federation, Korean Buddhists Federation, Korean Journalist Union, Korean Democratic Lawyers Association, Korean Students Committee, Korean Committee for International Solidarity, Korean Committee for Asian-African Solidarity, Korean National Peace Committee.

January 25, 1977

Pyongyang