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August 23, 1979

Letter, Josip Broz Tito to Kim Il Sung

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation




President of the Republic


The Brijuni islands,
23 August 1979


Dear Comrade Kim Il Sung,


Firstly, I wish to thank you for the personal message you sent to me on July 18 of this year, that we have studied with great attention and interest. It has enabled us to be up to speed with current events related to Korea and to familiarize ourselves with your views and suggestions.


Yugoslavia has, as you are aware, always provided, and is still providing, strong support to the just demand of the Korean people for a peaceful unification of their homeland, without foreign interference, considering it a contribution to establishing and maintaining peace in Asia and wider.


I have already had the opportunity to inform you that last year, during my conversations with President Carter, as well as in the messages exchanged before, I supported your tendencies towards establishing a dialogue between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States of America, and the representatives from the North and South of Korea, considering it to be the best possible way to relieve tensions and find a solution for a peaceful unification of your country.


The U.S.A. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance has informed us already, in the letter to our Federal Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Josip Vrhovec, of the suggestion made by President Carter and the south Korean President Park of conducting trilateral discussions. In his letter State Secretary Vance points out that the suggestions made by the U.S.A. and south Korea are most serious and that they represent a real wish of Presidents Carter and Park to engage in a direct and full dialogue with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea about all the unresolved issues. He also expressed his assurance that all three parties are interested in diminishing the tense relations on the Korean peninsula. They received the first reactions of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as they state in their letter, with disappointment. Nevertheless, in Washington, they don’t consider the statement of your Ministry of Foreign Affairs as final and they hope that they will be able to see different reactions coming from you.


Understandably, the Federal Secretary of Foreign Affairs Josip Vrhovec has, in the reply to the letter from US Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, conveyed your opinion on the trilateral discussions that you have already made clear to me in your letter from July 18 of this year.


Comrade President,


Surely you have already been informed that, while meeting a large number of heads of state of friendly countries, I had discussions in Moscow with both the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the President of the Presidency of the High Council of USSR, Comrade L. I. Brezhnev.


These discussions were amicable and useful. We agreed that relations between our countries and parties should continue to develop on the principles, formed in the Belgrade Declaration of 1955, Moscow Statement of 1956, and joint statements of 1976 and 1977. On our end, we have reiterated that respecting the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, not interfering in other’s affairs, and equality in inter-state relations, is of the crucial importance for relations between socialist countries and for advancement of socialism in the world. On both ends, we found the similarities, as well as differences in views on international questions that stem from the differences of the ways of socialist construction and international positions of the two countries. We have agreed that these differences should not be obstacles to an all-round positive development of relations between the two countries.


We devoted significant attention to the need of expanding détente as a universal process, the issue of disarmament, and a peaceful resolving of crises. We expressed our principled stance on the politics and the movement of non-alignment as an independent, stand-alone factor in international relations, that is not a part of any block, and of the importance of unified actions of the movement in accordance with source principles of non-alignment, which represents an objective interest of the international community. We pointed out that the policies of non-alignment for Yugoslavia represents a permanent orientation in international relations with all countries.


Comrade President,


It is with special attention and interest that we have acquainted ourselves with the document of the joint session of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the Central People’s Committee, dedicated to considering the situation in the Non-Aligned Movement and the principles for the Sixth Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries in Havana. We are very appreciative and welcome the efforts that you are personally investing in order to properly prepare the Conference and ensure its success, while sharing completely your opinion that it ought to be a conference of unity, not of division.


I wish to use this opportunity to express my content that the relations of our countries being amicable and that we have established a good cooperation, to which you personally largely contribute.


Honorable Comrade President, I am sending you friendly regards and expressions of my honest respect, as well as best wishes for the benefit and advancement of the friendly people of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.


[signed] Tito


Tito strongly suggests the socialist countries should achieve unity. He also discussed a letter from US Secretary States Vance concerning a trilateral dialogue between the U.S., South Korea, and the DPRK.

Document Information


Archives of Yugoslavia (AJ), KPR I-1/661. Contributed by Martin Coles and translated by Anja Anđelković.

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