The Korean people who have suffered untold sufferings and misfortunes for scores of years since national division eagerly want reconciliation and unity between the north and the south, and peace and reunification of the country.
To open a broad avenue of independent reunification by making a great turn in the inter-Korean relations is the consistent standpoint of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. From this stand the DPRK has made all possible efforts to improve the north-south relations and achieve independent reunification under the motto of “By our nation itself.”
The Korean nation became fully aware of the vitality of the motto as an accurate and just idea that makes it possible to solve the reunification issue of the country in accordance with the aspiration and desire of the nation and the common interests of the north and the south. In 2000 the north-south summit meeting took place in Pyongyang for the first time after division, adopting the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration. Afterwards, various kinds of talks including the north-south minister-level talks were held to solve practical problems in the spirit of trust and cooperation. Through the dialogue different methods were developed to promote reconciliation and unity, the way of cooperation and exchange opened, and relevant measures taken to ease the tension.
A big progress made in implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration ushered in the time of reconciliation and cooperation between both sides of Korea that had been harassed with confrontation, tension and mistrust for more than half a century, and a bright prospect was opened for national reunification. Between the north and the south, the barrier of misunderstanding and mistrust collapsed, severed railways and roads were reconnected, and air and sea routes opened. National independence and cooperation became the general trend and the north and the south of Korea pursued common interests from the stand of “By our nation itself.” In the course of this, an epoch-making development was brought about in the inter-Korean relations. With the idea of “By our nation itself,” the Korean nation pushed vigorously ahead with improvement of the north-south relations and the cause of independent reunification, filled with the enthusiasm for national reunification and firmly rallied as one with patriotism. Such events nurtured the confidence and optimism that when the Korean people join hands to solve problems of the nation, issues of the north-south relations, they can achieve independent reunification, peace and prosperity without difficulty.
The DPRK has spared no efforts to reject the foreign forces that were and are trying to lay an obstacle in solving the Korean nation’s internal problems and fish in troubled waters of fratricidal confrontation. It has worked hard to settle issues arising between the two sides with the nation’s concerted efforts in an independent way. Last year alone, it put forth proposals to save the inter-Korean relations from the catastrophic situation and took a number of important measures successively. It called upon the entire Korean nation to turn last year marking the 70th anniversary of national liberation into a year of great change to open up a broad vista of independent reunification by turning out as one in a nationwide campaign to reunify the country—this appeal touched the heart of the whole nation. Then, by way of an appeal from the conference of the government, parties and organizations, it put forth broad-minded and unusual proposals for improvement of the north-south relations, and took relevant measures.
In August last year when the Korean peninsula was thrown into the worst situation over confrontation, the DPRK removed the hair-trigger crisis of armed conflict through an emergency north-south high-ranking contact, and thus defended the destiny of the Korean nation and peace and security of the country from the danger of the nuclear war and made an occasion of an dramatic turn to improved north-south relations.
In the present acute and complicated situation the only reliance is the fellow countrymen, and if the north and the south join efforts, they will be able to overcome whatever hardships and do whatever they want. It is unreasonable to think the Korean nation can solve problems of the inter-Korean relations or the issue of the country’s reunification, an internal matter of the nation, by relying on foreign forces. The history of the north-south relations full of vicissitudes is riddled with interferences of the foreign forces that do not want the Korean nation to be reconciled, united and reunified independently.
Responsible for improved inter-Korean relations are the north and the south, and the Korean nation alone has the power to improve the north-south relations and achieve peace and reunification.
History has proved that dependence on outside forces leads the country to ruin. If the north and the south, on the basis of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration and the October 4 Declaration, have positive dialogue, negotiation, exchange and contacts while giving priority to the nation’s community and transcending differences, the inter-Korean relations will get on the track of improvement and head for national reunification.