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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 06, 1976

PRESIDENT TITO'S RESPONSE [TO KIM IL SUNG'S MESSAGE OF JANUARY 22, 1976]

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

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    Tito discusses the importance of the fifth summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
    "President Tito's Response [to Kim Il Sung's Message of January 22, 1976]," March 06, 1976, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of Yugoslavia (AJ), KPR I-1/653. Contributed by Martin Coles and translated by Anja Anđelković. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208700
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Belgrade, February 6, 1976

Dear Comrade President,

I wish to extend my gratitude your sincere greetings and best wishes that you send in your message brought by your deputy, Comrade Ri Djong Mok [sic].

Vice President of the Federal Executive Council and secretary for foreign affairs, Comrade Miloš Minić, thoroughly informed me about the conversation that Comrade Ri Djong Mok and he had on this occasion, as well as the conversation your deputy lead with the Executive Committee Secretary of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, Comrade Dolanc.

I was pleased to learn more about your thoughts about the Fifth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that are especially useful right now as we are preparing for the summit. Yugoslavia sees the Fifth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement as an extremely important one, as it is the summit that will mark the 15th anniversary of non-aligned countries actively participating on the international scene, and that will, in these complex international circumstances, consider the direction and priorities of new efforts in resolving the most important international political and economic issues.

After the Fourth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Algeria, the influence of the politics of non-alignment on international affairs has further developed. I believe that the work of non-aligned countries brought noted positive results in the fight for peace, security, decolonization and independence, equal international collaboration, economic development of developing countries and democratization of international relations.

The non-alignment politics’ success in the field of international economic relations is of particular significance, as it brought to understanding that the current unequal international economic system needs to be changed. The non-aligned countries’ continuous support to the peoples who are fighting for freedom and independence is of equal significance. These results were achieved by the unity of non-aligned countries that’s been consistently strengthening through actions that were in best interests of a growing number of countries interested in changing international political and economic relations.

I agree with you that this entire process was under pressure of imperialist and other forces of foreign domination. The pressures on non-aligned countries with the aim to weaken their unity are growing. This is why it is important, now more than ever, that non-aligned countries be even more determined in confronting these actions and that they invest maximal efforts with the aim of overcoming current differences and strengthening international unity and collaboration.

Having this situation in mind together with the preparations for the summit in Colombo, we believe that timely and comprehensive consultations with as many non-aligned countries as possible are of great significance. With pleasure, I can see that a friendly and constructive exchange of thoughts with your country is already in progress. I believe that non-aligned countries made an extra step in preparations for this important summit by giving mandate to the Coordinating Bureau of non-aligned countries to communicate with all non-aligned countries and by doing so contribute to a faster and more efficient alignment of thoughts when drafting documents. Non-aligned countries will in this way also provide support to Sri Lanka as the host country. In regards to this, we understand the People’s Republic of North Korea’s wish to open an embassy in Colombo. As you know, Comrade President, Yugoslavia, in principle, advocates for strengthening all-around contacts among non-aligned countries, so we will support, within a friendly exchange, your country’s interest in opening an embassy in Colombo with the government of Sri Lanka.

Dear Comrade President, you are aware of Yugoslavia’s support to a peaceful unification of Korea in the United Nations, during all summits of non-aligned countries and in bilateral contacts with other countries. The fact that the support to the Korean’s people justified tendencies for reunification is coming from such a reputable group of statesmen that make up the Fifth Conference of the Heads of State or Government in Colombo will contribute to a faster resolution of this problem. It would be significant that the unity of non-aligned countries manifests itself in this matter as well, within a platform that would suit the interests of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and that would be acceptable to all non-aligned countries, too. I agree that it would be crucial to include the issue of a peaceful unification of Korea to our agenda. As you are already informed, Yugoslavia has already suggested this to the Coordinating Bureau.

I share your opinion, Comrade President, that it is necessary for non-aligned countries to act in a more organized manner in their international affairs. It is without a doubt that their activities that are getting wider and more diverse by the day need a higher level of coordination and certain ways to harmonize their appearance and actions. Good results were achieved in this matter by creating various organizational units and ad hoc groups, and other means of cooperation of non-aligned countries, such as the Coordinating Bureau, the Fund for Economic and Social Development, state-coordinators of activities in various branches of international cooperation, a pool of news agencies of non-aligned countries, etc. At the Ministerial Conference in Lima significant steps were made in the direction of strengthening concrete and organized means of cooperation among non-aligned countries. The practice so far confirmed the usefulness and justifiableness of these means of cooperation, as well as the need to develop them further so that they can remain in accord with the democratic relations in the Non-Aligned Movement while staying relevant from the perspective of their practical application. I am certain that non-aligned countries will direct their attention to this direction during the preparations for the summit in Colombo, as well as during the summit itself.

Dear Comrade President,

I am using this opportunity to inform you that I will be visiting some Latin American countries in the near future. I want to assure you that the just issue of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea will always have our all-around support, as it’s had it so far. You can count on the fact that we will, as far as our capabilities allow us, strive to contribute to strengthening the international position of your country in the future, not only in the area of Latin America but wider.

I am happy that I can see consistent strengthening of friendly relations and bilateral cooperation between our two socialist and non-aligned countries, and that I can at the same time express my assurance in them developing further fruitfully in the interests of our peoples and an equal international cooperation, peace and socialism in the world. The friendly relations of our two countries were further established and bettered with your recent visit to Yugoslavia that I remember fondly. I share your opinion about the need to continue the useful conversations we started on that occasion and I am looking forward to us meeting in Colombo because of this.

With an honest wish and hope that your endeavors to fulfill your tasks of socialist nation-building, to further affirm the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea and to achieve the peaceful unification of the country will prove to be fruitful, I send you comradely greetings and I ask you to accept my expressions of respect.

[signed] Tito