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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 11, 1977

ORAL MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF KOREA, KIM IL SUNG, TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE [SOCIALIST FEDERAL] REPUBLIC [OF YUGOSLAVIA], JOSIP BROZ TITO

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

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    Kim is grateful for Yugoslavia’s past and continued assistance on the unification issue. Elsewhere, he discusses the economic and political situation in Korea, a hostile incident caused by the South Korean army, and other issues relating to the unification of Korea. He is also pleased that Tito’s upcoming visit to Pyongyang has been agreed upon.
    "Oral Message from the President of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Il Sung, to the President of the [Socialist Federal] Republic [of Yugoslavia], Josip Broz Tito," April 11, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archives of Yugoslavia (AJ), KPR I-1/656. Contributed by Martin Coles and translated by Anja Anđelković. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208703
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Presidency of SFRY

Department for Foreign Affairs

Confidential Number 103/2

Note

On April 11, 1977 in SFRY, Vice President of SFRY’s Presidency, Vidoje Žarković, received the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Chong Kwang-sun, who relayed the personal message of the President of the DPR of Korea Kim Il Sung for President Tito.

The Ambassador read the message, which read as follows:

“Firstly, I wish to extend the warmest brotherly regards coming from the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and President of People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Kim Il Sung, for President of SFRY and President of The League of Communists of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito. I recently spent time in our homeland and I was received by the respected leader of our people, Kim Il Sung. President Kim Il Sung was very interested in the work of our Embassy and he especially pointed out that it is necessary to make efforts to strengthen the relationship, cooperation and friendship between our two countries. He was very pleased with me telling him that the respected President Josip Broz Tito often remembers his meeting with President Kim Il Sung in 1975, and that his feeling of friendship towards him has not changed and that he, also pays a lot of attention to strengthening the relationship and cooperation between our two countries.

The respected President Kim Il Sung has entrusted me with extending gratitude to President Josip Broz Tito for the continuous help and support that your government has provided to the cause of our people to unify our fatherland, especially for the letters of solidarity that the Socialist Alliance and other Yugoslavia’s organizations sent to us, supporting the document that was adopted at the meeting of all political parties and organizations in our country on January 25 that was then sent to the addresses of all political parties and many sections of the population in south Korea and our co-patriots in foreign countries.

Our beloved leader was also touched by the warm and honest care President Josip Broz Tito has shown for his daughter who is studying in your country. He told me to extend his gratitude to the respected President Josip Broz Tito for this.

The honorable President Kim Il Sung is always mentioning the days of his exciting meeting with the honorable President Josip Broz Tito in your country. He promised to President Tito that they would continue the discussion they started in Ljubljana when they meet in Sri Lanka at the Fifth Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as that they will deepen the discussion in Pyongyang. However, he is sorry that he couldn’t accomplish this last year due to the situation in our country escalating suddenly. He said that many things have changed in international affairs since he last met President Tito and that there are many complex issues cropping up in the Non-Aligned Movement lately because of which he’d like to exchange opinions about these issues with President Tito.

The honorable President Kim Il Sung was very happy by the information that the honorable President Josip Broz Tito had said of his intention to visit our country this year during the reception of the daughter of our President Kim Il Sung in Igalo. He told me to tell the honorable President Josip Broz Tito that our country was ready to receive the honorable President Comrade Tito at any time. Our honorable President also told me to tell Comrade Tito that our people would receive him as their dearest guest and that they would greet him with the warmest welcome and regards when he visits our country. President Kim Il Sung truly hopes that he will meet the honorable President Tito in Pyongyang soon.

As for the situation in our country, our country is developing well, in general. Understandably, there are certain difficulties that our people are facing. However, our people are determined to the core to accomplish all the tasks given by the Party. As you already know, last year in our country we achieved the 6-year plan, and all that almost a year and a half before the deadline. The plan was meant for the period from 1971 to 1976. A new plan for developing the public economy is being prepared right now in our country. The result of accomplish the 6-year plan successfully is that the economy of our country is much more stable, and the standard of living of our people has drastically improved.

However, not everything is developing as it should be in our country. Of course, our people are facing many difficulties due to the long-term division of the country and constant provocations by the enemies. Other than that, there are a lot of difficulties due to bad weather conditions.

The situation in our country, that was very tense due to the incident, ie. enemies’ provocations in Panmunjom on August 18 last year, has significantly improved thanks to our peaceful efforts and our strength. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that the danger of a war outbreak has been completely removed. It is a fact that south Korean leaders are constantly importing modern weapons for mass destruction from the United States under the guise of modernizing the modern puppet army of south Korea. On the other hand, those with the aim to impose the preparations for the war are increasing the reprisals over the democratic forces of south Korea, now more than ever. Other than that, south Korean leaders always aim to reinforce the permanent divide between our countries with the help of the United States and the Japanese reaction. By supporting the south Korean puppet regime, American and Japanese reactionary circles speak about the alleged recognition of our Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, i.e. if the socialist countries recognize south Korea, they will recognize us. Lead by those machinations, south Korean leaders are always trying to get closer to socialist countries, and they are using every opportunity and situation for that.

This is why we deem it extremely important to be aware of these machinations of our enemies and to spoil all their attempts in order to achieve the goal of our revolution and peacefully unify our fatherland.”

After reading this message, the ambassador said that the preparations for the arrival and reception of Comrade Tito were at full speed, and that those preparations were led by President Kim Il Sung himself.

Vice President Žarković said that President Tito truly had only the most beautiful memories of his meetings with Kim Il Sung and the discussions that they had on those occasions because President Tito and the Yugoslavian government invest significant efforts into the constant strengthening and developing friendly cooperation and relations between Yugoslavia and North Korea.

Vice President Žarković also pointed out that President Tito, as Comrade Kim Il Sung, thinks that there was a series of new phenomena in international relations that happened after Colombo and that it would be very useful and essential that two chiefs of countries exchange their opinions on these matters. This is why President Tito wanted to accept the previous invitation of President Kim Il Sung and visit the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea this year. This visit will most likely take place at the end of August or in the first days of September. But we will talk about the actual dates through our usual channels at a later date.

We firmly believe that President Tito will be welcomed in a friendly and honourable manner, as President Kim Il Sung was welcomed in Yugoslavia.

We also believe that the upcoming meeting of President Tito and President Kim Il Sung will be of great importance for further strengthening our friendship as well as strengthening the politics of non-alignment in the world.

Vice President Žarković pointed out that we were truly happy by the results that DPR Korea achieved in their growth. We are also pleased that the situation calmed down after the incident at Panmunjom. However, one should not be surprised that south Korea and its protector, the US, are trying to establish their positions as much as they can. As for Yugoslavia, headed by President Tito, it has always been a consistent supporter of the politics of your government and President Kim Il Sung for the peaceful unification of Korea, emphasized Vice President Žarković.

Vice President Žarković asked the ambassador to send honest regards and best wishes for further success of the friendly Korean people in building up and developing the country to President Kim Il Sung from President Tito and the Presidency of SFRY.

Belgrade

April 12, 1977