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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 17, 1976

RESPONSE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE [SOCIALIST FEDERAL] REPUBLIC [OF YUGOSLAVIA], J.B. TITO [TO KIM IL SUNG'S MESSAGE OF AUGUST 1, 1976]

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

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    Tito expresses his apologies that he could not visit DPRK just after the Non-Aligned Movement summit.
    "Response of the President of the [Socialist Federal] Republic [of Yugoslavia], J.B. Tito [to Kim Il Sung's Message of August 1, 1976]," November 17, 1976, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of Yugoslavia (AJ), KPR I-1/655. Contributed by Martin Coles and translated by Anja Anđelković. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208702
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Belgrade, November 17, 1976

Dear Comrade President,

I want to confirm that I received your message from August 1, that was given to me by the President of the Administration Committee, Pak Seong-cheol [Pak Song Chol], and to thank you for your comradely greetings and wishes that you had for me that time.

I am very sorry I wasn’t able to meet you in Colombo, as I hoped. I understood the reasons that prevented you from coming to Sri Lanka and contributing, with your presence and your work, to the productive Fifth Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The President of the Administration Committee, Pak Seong-cheol, with whom I had many useful conversations, has thoroughly informed me about the situation in Korea. We’ve closely, and with great concern, followed the escalating conflict on the Korean peninsula that was happening then. The crises were averted with the outcome that is known to all of us, but the Korean issue, that is quite naturally the main focus of the Korean leadership and the people, is still unresolved.

We are pleased that there are more and more countries in the world that understand the importance of this issue and that think that the Korean people should be able to fulfill their right to live in a unique, free country, knowing that there is no stable peace without the solution to this issue.

We are certain that the efforts of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea to peacefully resolve the question of unifying the country won’t be futile. The Korean people will always have the support of peaceful and progressive world powers, particularly of non-aligned countries. As far as Yugoslavia is concerned, I want to assure you again that we will, as we have done so far, according to our capabilities, support the efforts of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea to achieve a peaceful reunification of the country.

Your delegation, which participated in the Fifth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Colombo, has made us aware of the work that this historic group is doing. There was a show of firm unity and solidarity of non-aligned countries about all the important international problems. Despite the pressure coming from many sides and attempts to diminish the significance of this summit, it was the summit with the highest number of participants so far. It is, when you look at it from a wider perspective, a great contribution to the further development of the Non-Aligned Movement as one of the most important factors of the progressive development of international relations. The summit was especially significant also because it offered a platform and an agenda of concrete actions for solving problems that some countries and the entire international community are facing, and because it evidently manifested unity, continuity, the growing role and the ever-growing strength of non-aligned countries.

It is of great importance that non-aligned countries strengthen their unity and actively work on executing tasks and decisions made at the summit in the next period. I am expressing my hope that our two non-aligned and socialist countries will contribute to these goals and that they will continue the constructive dialogue about questions related to non-aligned countries.

I am sorry that I couldn’t accept your suggestion, expressed in your message, to visit the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea right after the Summit in Colombo due to previous obligations. I still fondly remember the discussion we had in Ljubljana and I hope that I will be able to visit your beautiful country in the coming period, and that we will be able to continue the discussion that we started in Yugoslavia.

Dear Comrade President,

I am using this opportunity as well to express how pleased I am that the relations of friendship and collaboration between our countries keep strengthening and to express my hope that these relations will keep strengthening with the goal of peace and progress in the world.

With an honest wish that the Korean people continue accomplishing successes in building the country, I am sending you my warmest greetings and asking you to accept the expression of my deepest respect.

[signature] Tito