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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 23, 1974

LETTER AND MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, KIM IL SUNG, TO PRESIDENT JOSIP BROZ TITO

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation, Kyungnam University

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    Kim Il Sung asks Tito to help put pressure on the US to have direct talks with the DPRK. He also describes his efforts to build strong relations with the Third World.
    "Letter and Message from the President of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Il Sung, to President Josip Broz Tito," May 23, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of Yugoslavia (AJ), KPR I-1/648. Contributed by Martin Coles and translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208682
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(Translation)

Stamp: Archive of Josip Broz Tito

[Translator’s note: per the Serbian-language comments at the top of the document, this is a translation of the original Korean document into Russian]

TO JOSIP BROZ TITO, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE UNION OF COMMUNISTS OF YUGOSLAVIA, THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERATIVE REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

Dear Comrade Josip Broz Tito,

First of all let [me] warmly greet the 10th Congress of your Party.

Noting with great joy that the relations of friendship and collaboration between the Parties, governments, and peoples of our two countries are developing well with each day in various fields I send you and in your person your Union, Government, and the Yugoslav people, cordial, fraternal greetings.

I express to you, Comrade Josip Broz Tito, my gratitude for receiving the delegation of the Supreme People’s Assembly of our country which visited your country not long ago, and [that you] expressed the inspiring words that you, the League of Communists, and the Government of Yugoslavia would henceforth pursue comprehensive activity in the international arena as a sign of support to the great cause of our people in the name of the unification of the Motherland.

Through Comrade Yang Hyong-sop, who took part in the 10th Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, I would like to inform you of the new measures recently adopted by our Party in connection with the question of the unification of the Motherland and to exchange opinions with you about some views of ours regarding the Third World and the Non-Aligned Movement.

As one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement, you are making a great contribution to the cause of strengthening and developing this Movement, and your valuable opinions would serve as a great help in our work.

I express confidence that the close relations of friendship and collaboration which have developed between the Parties, governments, and peoples of both our countries will henceforth be tirelessly strengthened and developed on the basis of the principles of Marxism-Leninism, equality, independence, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs [of one another], and comradely collaboration, and from the bottom of [my] heart I wish you good health, happiness, and new successes in your responsible work.

With comradely greetings,

GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE KOREAN WORKER’S PARTY, PRESIDENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

KIM IL SUNG

Pyongyang, [date left blank] May 1974

[Translator’s note: this message follows the above, without any date or salutation:]

(Translation)

Permit me to express to you, Comrade Josip Broz Tito, [my] deep appreciation for the fact that you have devoted the time and have warmly received our delegation, in spite of your great workload.

First of all let me pass to you, Comrade Josip Broz Tito, the Chairman of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia and President of the Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia, a comradely, friendly greeting from the General Secretary of the CC of our Party and President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Comrade Kim Il Sung.

The Central Committee of our Party is grateful to the Central Committee of your Party for the kind invitation to our Party delegation to take part in your Party Congress.

Comrade Kim Il Sung values the fraternal friendship and solidarity with the Union of Communists and the people of Yugoslavia.

This time, in sending us, Comrade Kim Il Sung has given us convincing insistence to promote the further development of friendly relations between the Parties and peoples of both countries, which are developing productively.

He also charged [us] with paying a visit to you, Comrade Josip Broz Tito, and talking about some of the following questions.

With your permission, right now I would like to pass to you the words of Comrade Kim Il Sung addressed to you, Comrade Josip Broz Tito.

Dear Comrade Josip Broz Tito!

Through Comrade Yang Hyong-sop, a member of the Political Committee and Secretary of the CC of our Party, who took part in the 10th Congress of your Party at the invitation of the CC of your Party, I want to tell you of the new measures recently taken by our Party and government on the question of the reunification of Korea, and also about the position of our Party associated with the Third World and the Non-Aligned Movement.

First I would like to briefly touch on our proposal about the conclusion of a peace agreement with the US.

As you probably already know, in March of this year at the fifth convocation of the 3rd session of the Supreme People’s Assembly we decided to hold talks with the US in order to conclude a peace agreement and sent a letter about this to the US Congress.

Now in order to eliminate the tension in Korea and speed up the peaceful reunification of the country it is first of all necessary to eliminate the state of military confrontation between the North and South and replace the Armistice Agreement with a peace agreement.

However, the whole course of the dialogue between the North and South shows that the south Korean rulers do not want a reunification of the country and do not intend to eliminate the military confrontation between the North and South or to conclude a peace agreement. In trying to consolidate the current situation of a division of the country into North and South and manufacture “two Koreas” they, on the one hand, are increasing the fascist repression of the south Korean population and, on the other, are feverishly making new military preparations against the northern part of the Republic.

Such criminal actions of the south Korean puppets are being made under the active instigation of the United States. The US continues to give the south Korean rulers weapons and military equipment, they are expanding military bases in south Korea, and continually conduct military exercises together with the south Korean puppets.

Without the elimination of the US interference in the internal affairs of Korea it is impossible to achieve either a durable peace in Korea or the independent peaceful reunification of our Motherland.

However, the south Korea rulers not only have no intention of removing outside forces but they also are completely unable to do this.

As the whole world knows, the right to command the south Korean army does not belong to the south Korea rulers but to the Commanding General of US troops, who is there under the name of “the Commanding General of UN Forces”, and it is the American troops deployed in south Korean who have the right to command the various weapons and military equipment.

It is clear that in these circumstances it is impossible to decide either the question of the elimination of tension and the securing of peace in Korea with the south Korea rulers or any other question connected with the reunification of the Motherland.

That is why we want to hold talks directly with the US, which has the actual right to decide the question of the replacement of the armistice agreement with a peace agreement and which is one of the actual interested parties which signed the Armistice Agreement in Korea; thus, to achieve the withdrawal of American forces from south Korea and to create preconditions for the solution of the question of the reunification of our Motherland with the efforts of the Koreans themselves.

We have proposed including the following in a peace agreement which would be concluded with the US: both parties are commit themselves not to attack one another; the US will commit itself to neither protect or incite the south Korean rulers, and not obstruct the peaceful reunification of Korea; both parties should stop building up [their] armed forces and the arms race; foreign troops there under the label of “UN forces” should be withdrawn from south Korea, and Korea will not become a military or operational base for any other country after the withdrawal of the foreign troops.

In the final account, the peace agreement which we advocate is directed at the liquidation of a constant hotbed of war in Korea and the elimination of outside forces, the main obstacle to the reunification of our country.

We unalterably insist that in no event can the question of the reunification of our country be decided if we hand it over to bargaining between the great powers.

A direct approach to the US with a proposal to hold talks will give us the opportunity and more strongly take the initiative in our hands on the question of the reunification of our country.

If the US authorities have no intention of pursuing a policy of division and war then they cannot have any excuse or reason for not agreeing to hold direct talks on the question of the conclusion of a peace agreement.

In our opinion, our proposal about holding direct talks with the US will also be productive for exposing to the entire world that the south Korean rules are traitors to the Motherland and puppets without any real power, which will further isolate then in the international arena.

At the present time the south Korean rules are very worried that the US will enter into talks with us without taking them into consideration, and are shrewdly trying to obstruct this in every possible way.

We think that if the US does not continue to support such a bastard as Park Chung-hee, rejected by the people as an inveterate fascist unprecedented in the history of the East or West, and enters into talks with us without delay, then a new way out of Korea will open for the US itself without shame.

It is a matter of whether the US will make changes to its policy with regard to Korea or not.

If, as before, the US relies on such a person as Park Chung Hee to pursue the goal of perpetuating national division and the fabrication of “two Koreas” and preserving the colonial fascist dominance, then the people of south Korea will not just view this indifferently.

When the south Korean people rise up in revolt and ask us for help, then we will not be able to sit with folded arms. The struggle of the south Korean people is a just struggle for freedom and liberation, and our active support of their revolutionary struggle is a proper national duty.

In such an event it appears that such a danger is not excluded of the US again being drawn into such events in Korea as occurred in Vietnam.

We think that before such a turn of events that the US should abandon the aggressive policy with respect to Korea and enter into dialog with us beforehand, which would also completely meet the interests of the American people, who oppose war and love peace.

I would like to express my confidence that you, Comrade Josip Broz Tito, will put pressure on the US and make use of your influence to mobilize world public opinion to implement our even-handed proposal to hold direct talks with the US.

Further, I would like to express some considerations with respect to increasing the strength of the peoples of the Third World.

Today the peoples of the world are taking the course of independence, which has become an invincible trend of the time.

In particular, the peoples of the Third World, who in the past were subjected to exploitation and oppression from the imperialists, have strongly taken their fates in their own hands and are acting as the masters in a historic arena. We think that today the countries of the Third World are the main strength of the world revolution.

But some powers nevertheless do not see the changed reality and, striving to continue dominance of the world, are trying to manage the fates of the countries of the Third World.

We think the countries of the Third World need to even further strengthen solidarity under the banner of independence in order to be saved from dominance and control from outside.

In fact, the Third World comprises a large number of countries and population, has a broad territory and many natural resources, and therefore we think the Third World can accomplish anything and restrain any great power if only they unite.

When the countries of the Third World rationally mobilize in unity and use their potential then, in our opinion, they would make the anti-imperialist forces several times stronger and exert an ever more decisive influence on the development of the international situation.

The UN General Assembly session held recently on the question of raw materials and development convincingly demonstrated the united power of the peoples of the Third World who are fighting for independent development.

We insist that the peoples of the countries of the Third World ought to firmly band together to ensure a durable peace in the entire world and the security of humanity, break up the old procedure of international relations established in the interests of the great powers, and affirm a new way of international relations meeting the interests of the peoples of the Third World.

We think that it is important not only to strengthen the unity and cohesion of the peoples of the countries of the Third World, but to also free such countries of the Second World as France, Japan, Canada, and others, which are subjected to their pressure from the influence of the great powers so that they do not blindly follow these powers.

It is true that France, Japan, Canada, and the other countries of the Second World have relations of alliance with the US and common positions with it, but on a number of questions their interests are not identical.

In addition, these countries do not have sufficient natural resources, so that they rely on the rich resources of the countries of the Third World for the development of the economies of their countries. Although they assert that the developing countries cannot live without their “help”, in fact they are not able to live without the fuel and raw materials of the countries of the Third World. The energy crisis, which enveloped the capitalist world as a result of the vigorous measures of the Arab countries adopted in connection with the war in the Middle East in October of last year, eloquently tells of this.

If the countries of the Third World make skillful use of such adversarial relations between the powers and their weaknesses then, in our opinion, they could win over the countries of the Second World and form a united front with them.

As it seems to us, if the countries of the Third World increase their solidarity, enlist the countries of the Second World, and wage a skillful struggle, then they could also have the final word in the United Nations. In such an event the United Nations itself could be turned into a genuine organization of peace and progress serving the interests of the peoples of the Third World, and make such an arena of the superpowers like the Security Council correspondingly inoperative, and wreck the attempts of some of the big countries to turn the UN into their plaything.

We think that if the struggle continues in such a direction then in the future a new organization like the UN headed by the countries of the Third World might be created independent of the existing UN.

In our opinion, the possibility is not excluded of convening a conference of newborn forces of the Third World at an appropriate time in order to organize and develop such a movement.

You, Comrade Josip Broz Tito, as one of the generally-recognized eminent leaders of the Third World, have truly done much in the name of the unity and independence of the peoples of the Third World. We hope that in the future you will make a great contribution to this noble cause.

Further, I would like to dwell on the question of the participation of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in the Non-Aligned Movement to make an active contribution to strengthening the solidarity of the Third World and the further development of the world revolutionary movement.

We have always devoted deep attention to the Non-Aligned Movement and highly appreciate its anti-militaristic, peace-loving, and progressive role.

The Non-Aligned Movement, directed against all forms of aggression, enslavement, and inequality, plays an important role in strengthening the unity and solidarity of the anti-imperialist forces, including the countries of the Third World, and is making a great contribution at the present time to the development of  the world revolutionary movement.

And our country, as a country belonging to the Third World, desires to join the ranks of the Non-Aligned Countries if they do not object to this.

Inasmuch as there is a good precedent, that although Yugoslavia is a socialist country, but at the same time as a country belonging to the Third World, it plays a great role in the ranks of the nonaligned countries, and we think we could join the ranks of the nonaligned countries and pursue our activity among them.

True, here we have other problems unlike Yugoslavia.

This is conditioned by the fact that our country has bilateral military alliances with other socialist countries. But this is essentially unlike the fact that others are members of such a multilateral military bloc as the Warsaw Pact. In addition, we have no foreign military bases in the country.

Inasmuch as we are actively fighting against imperialism, colonialism, and for independence, in our opinion this is in our opinion a problem which can be overcome and does not serve as a great hindrance to our participation in the Non-Aligned Movement.

We are not forgetting that in the past year you, Comrade Josip Broz Tito, have applied every sincere effort to invite us to take part as an observer at the highest level in the 4th Conference of Non-Aligned Countries in Algiers.

You are one of the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement and have many years of rich experience in the development of this movement, and therefore I think that you could give us great help in this question.

Here I have finished passing you the words of Comrade Kim Il Sung.

We would be very grateful to you if you would express your valuable opinions on these questions.

I thank you for the attention.