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March 28, 1978

Response of the President of the [Socialist Federal] Republic [of Yugoslavia], J.B. Tito, to Kim Il Sung

This document was made possible with support from MacArthur Foundation


March 28, 1978


Dear Comrade Kim Il Sung,


Firstly, I want to thank you for the message you personally sent to me through your Special Deputy Comrade Kim Yeong-nam [Kim Yong Nam] at the beginning of February this year. Your message and the conversation I had with Comrade Kim Yeong-nam were of great help in keeping us in the loop of the latest developments in Korea, and your views and actions. Comrade Kim Yeong-nam also met and talked with other comrades of ours, my associates. I am sure that all of this was a new and significant contribution to friendly relations and an all-encompassing collaboration between our two countries and parties that is developing so successfully.


Continuing the course of our mutual sharing of information and thoughts about issues of mutual interest and in the spirit of the conversation we had during my last year’s visit to your beautiful country, now I want to inform you about a discussion I had with President Carter during my visit to the United States of America.


Our visit and discussions in the United States of America were completely consumed by our well-known tendencies toward removing the danger of war and creating a climate of better understanding in the world, as well as toward bettering our relations with the United States of America on the bases of equality, independence and not meddling in internal affairs.


I spoke to President Carter about the question of reunifying Korea under these conditions.


I informed President Carter that I had received a message from you personally before coming to the United States of America. I told him what the main thoughts from the message were, pointing out again your readiness to normalize the relations with the United States of America and approach the question of unifying Korea in a peaceful way, through negotiations.


President Carter repeated the already known position that it is unacceptable for the government of the USA to be negotiation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea without the presence of south Korea. President Carter explained this position with familiar arguments, namely that the USA has an obligation towards south Korea as a friendly country, that south Korea is accepted by more than 50 member-countries of the UN, that it is present in many international organizations.


Assessing that negotiations are the best method in solving the open issues in question, I posed an idea to think about and start the communication between deputies of People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, USA and south Korea on a lower level, who be members of the highest political ranks of any of the sides. This way the inclusion of the highest ranks of the south Korean regime would be avoided.


President Carter listened to this idea with great interest and the day after that, after consulting the American government, Secretary of State Vance expressed that the US government agrees with this idea and asked that I relay this message to you.


According to all this, I believe that President Carter and his government are willing to begin exploratory discussions with DPR Korea about this, and to learn DPR Korea’s opinion on this matter.


As far as we are concerned, you know that we still stand fully at your disposal and wish to contribute to your attempts to reach a rightful and peaceful reunification of Korea.


Expressing, once again, how pleased I am by the friendly relations and collaboration between our two countries and parties, aided by our unforgettable visit to your country last year, I am asking you to accept the expressions of my deepest respect.


[signed] T.


During his visit to the United States, Tito stressed that relations between states should be based on equality and independence. Regarding the possibility of dialogue between the US and the DPRK, Yugoslavia could help with a low level trilateral dialogue.


Document Information


Archives of Yugoslavia (AJ), KPR I-1/658. Contributed by Martin Coles and translated by Anja Anđelković.

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